Full-scale Mutualization of Cars

I found an interesting 2015 research paper from Montreal titled Identification of the minimum size of the shared-car fleet required to satisfy car-driving trips in Montreal, the abstract of which reads:

This paper examines how many cars would be required to fulfill all car driver trips in a metropolitan area if these cars were shared rather than privately controlled. It proposes a twofold analysis regarding the use of cars in urban areas using data from a large scale Origin–Destination travel survey conducted in the Greater Montreal Area in 2008 as case study. In a first step, the use of privately owned cars and their level of usage are assessed through indicators such as the proportion of daily time parked at home location, parked elsewhere and travelling. In the region, 27 % of the owned cars are not used during a typical weekday. According to the estimations, a car will, on average, be parked more than 95 % of the time. In a second step, the research simulates a full-scale mutualization of cars in the region. Cars required to fulfill all car driver trips observed in the survey are generated based on two hypotheses of access distance to the shared cars (250 and 500 m cells). It was found that between 48 and 59 % of the current fleet of privately owned cars would be sufficient to fulfill all car driver trips at the metropolitan level.

I like the phrase “full-scale mutualization.” I think many aspects of our lives could benefit from mutualization.


Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on July 7, 2017 - 11:22 Permalink

I've been part of car sharing in Calgary for over 10 years, including the past 5 years with Car2Go. The main thing it does for me is make me consider alternatives rather than simply hopping in the car for an errand. When that car is 2-3 blocks away often walking/cycling make more sense. And it is so cheap. I have probably spent less than $1000 on trips in 10 years. Much much cheaper than a second car for us.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 7, 2017 - 11:38 Permalink

I’ve used car2go in Montreal twice. There have been two challenges:

  1. Figuring out parking is challenging for the first-time user. I imagine this becomes second nature for residents, but, especially with French-only street signs, I was never completely confident that I was leaving the car in a place I was allowed to leave it.
  2. There’s a difference between the downtown core and the area surrounding it in terms of availability: downtown cars are only available in (and can only be left in) designated car2go lots, whereas outside of the core you can leave cars anywhere that on-street parking is allowed (subject to whatever rules I’ve never been able to figure out).
  3. The size of the Smart cars is just barely big enough to fit two people plus a service dog; with any luggage it is very, very tight (i.e. dog on lap of child). Communauto, a car2go competitor, has larger cars (Toyota Priuses and Nissan Leafs) which solve this problem.

If there was car sharing in Charlottetown I would certainly be a customer; my car sits in my driveway 98% of the time.