Does Car Sharing Really Reduce Vehicle Ownership?

With rapid growth and significant user communities, the car sharing industry in North America has been hailed as a solution to traffic, parking, and pollution problems in urban areas.

Supporters say that with enough convenient and affordable ways to rent a car when they need it, people will find owning a vehicle to be redundant, and eventually choose to go carless.

With companies like Zipcar leading the way, the car sharing industry has quickly gone global, branching out into peer-to-peer avenues and community-centric solutions.

There’s no denying that these services meet an urban need and have potential for significant economic and environmental improvements, but the question remains: does car sharing really mean less cars on the road?

Researchers at the University of California recently published the results of a nationwide survey of over 6,200 carsharing members designed to answer that and other pressing questions about this new industry. What they found was that as a whole, the carsharing in North America more than delivers on its promises.