2013 Best Way to Obtain Automobility: Car Sharing

car2goFor 2013, streets.mn readers (or more accurately, poll-voters) chose “car rental subscription service” as their top choice for achieving transport by automobile.  I assume this means what most of us would call a “car-sharing” service.  With 40% of the vote, this option beat out “own a motor vehicle” with the second most votes (for 30%).

As a self-assured blogger, I’ll posit that this is undoubtedly due to the explosion of car-sharing options in Minneapolis in 2013 (and early 2014).  Short-term rentals are easier than ever as cars are available throughout the city and Car2Go has introduced the first point-to-point model.  If you mainly rely on transit, your feet, or a velicopede to get around, these services can certainly make you think twice about the need to own a vehicle.  Ownership is so 90’s.

Voter turnout this year was low, however, and 400-or-so car sharing vehicles does not a game-changer make.  In 2012, according to the Census, only 7% of Minneapolis workers had no vehicle available (16% had 3 or more vehicles available).  Tools like the American Community Survey and the local Travel Behavior Inventory don’t even parse out car-sharing as a different mode.  Car sharing seems to just be starting to grow significantly in Minneapolis (and lots of other cities) after a long, slow early-adopter phase.  Please take the survey again in 2014, dear readers, and let’s see how much gas this sharing thing has in the tank.

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