October 24, 2016
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Author: Matt O’Sullivan
24th October 2016
For self-employed inner Sydney resident Tim Chapman, selling his vehicle and embracing car-sharing was a simple decision.
“I just wasn’t driving the car at all, certainly not enough to pay for registration and insurance, and it was just a pain in the neck having to park it,” he said. “For everyday use it is better to share a car.
Macquarie University student Peter uses car share service GoGet occasionally for grocery shopping and trips away.
The 35-year-old Surry Hills communications researcher is emblematic of Sydney’s embrace of car sharing over the past few years.
About 20,000 residents within the City of Sydney’s boundaries are now car-share users, representing about 15 per cent of the residential population. Surry Hills resident Tim Chapman embraced car sharing about a year ago.
That is greater than the take-up in comparable inner-city areas in San Francisco or Boston, US cities synonymous with technology, according to research launched by the Committee for Sydney and commissioned by the Carsharing Association.
Based on one shared car resulting in 10 fewer privately owned vehicles, the researchers calculated that about 10,000 vehicles had been removed from the council’s area.
And they highlighted how a corresponding reduction in vehicle kilometres travelled had reduced “congestion, pollution and road trauma while increasing public health and the vibrancy of street environments”.
“Unlike owners, car share users pay a fee every time they use a vehicle, and as a result, people weigh the benefits of each potential trip against the gain from the purpose of the trip,” the Impact of Car Share Services in Australia report found.
The report calculated that each shared vehicle had a net community benefit of $60,000, which comprises collective and individual benefits such as reductions in air pollution and running costs of cars.
Car sharing within the City of Sydney’s boundaries had also freed up kerbside space equivalent to covering both sides of George Street from Circular Quay to Central Station, it said.
The City of Sydney has 805 car share vehicles within its boundaries.
Committee for Sydney chief executive Tim Williams said the key lesson from the city’s experience was the “huge benefits from private-public collaboration when there is boldness on both sides of the hyphen”.
Another study, Transport on demand: accelerating Australian cities, has forecast Sydney could have 3500 car-share vehicles by 2036, and as many as 9000 if the public was encouraged to embrace it.
An uptake of 3500 shared vehicles could remove the equivalent of 35,000 private cars from Sydney’s roads – or 90,000 if the car share fleet increased to 9000.
The forecasts in the study by engineering and design company Aecom were based on usage data from car-share company GoGet.
However, the study warned that the modelling showed it would take 20 years before reaching the point where the city benefited from the removal of 35,000 private cars.
“We must accelerate the policy agenda towards car sharing to ensure the sharing economy has a noticeable impact on the urban landscape in the near future,” it said.
Read the full article here.