Searching for the Value of Mobility: The Impacts of Travel Behaviour Changes
Although they are not yet widely spread throughout Australia, car sharing schemes have been increasingly chosen by urban dwellers as their alternative means of travel. Car sharing is a system where an organization allows its members to use its fleet of cars for their mobility without the hassles of ownership, such as maintenance, insurance, parking and registration procedure. Car sharing allows its member to use the car for only a few hours as opposed to the daily rental requirement from car rental companies. In addition, the cars are generally parked in neighbourhood locations which are easily accessed by public transport, bicycle or on foot. There are many reasons for being a car sharer from practical views, such as convenience and practicality, to idealistic ones, such as environmental sustainability and minimum consumption pattern. This paper identifies the drivers and the barriers for joining a car sharing schemes from the perspective of different types of users. It also analyses the spectrum of voluntary simplicity practices of the members related to their choice to join up a car sharing organization. Furthermore it examines the environmental, social and economic impacts of their option. From the results of both the survey and the interviews with GoGet car sharing members, car sharers use cars less frequently, have less annual vehicle kilometre travel (VKT or also known as annual mileage) and walk a lot more. The analysis of the travel behaviour and some changes occurring during the adoption of car sharing are extensively discussed.
Keywords: Travel Behaviour, Car Sharing, Voluntary Simplicity
PhD candidate, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales
Dr. Oya Demirbilek
Program Head, Industrial Design Program, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales