Chart of the Day: Minneapolis Per Capita Car2go Membership

Car2Go made a quarterly report on Tuesday to the Minneapolis City Council, and included a table of where members and trips were located by Zip codes. Some of the media coverage focused on the large number of trips and members coming from the 55406 Zip code (Longfellow). But Longfellow has a relatively large population. A little more insight into where Car2Go is being used comes from comparing membership and trips to the number of potential users. The U.S. Census Bureau has population estimates for Zip codes based on the annual American Community Survey. The data allows us to only focus on the population 15 and over, who are eligible for a drivers license. Integrating these data with the Car2Go report gives a different picture of who is most likely to sign up for and use Car2Go. In the North Loop 7% of the population have signed up for Car2Go, well above the rate in any other Minneapolis neighborhood. The next three Zip codes with high membership rates are all immediately adjacent to downtown. In 55406 2% of the adult population are Car2Go members, similar to the rates in Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis. It is striking that no Car2Go members are reported in 55411 and 55412: North Minneapolis.  Overall, the Car2Go report suggests that between 2 and 3% of adult residents in Minneapolis are members.


Membership has its privileges, of course, but who is taking advantage of the privilege of picking up a Car2Go car? The Car2Go report provides data on the total trip starts and ends by Zip code since the service began in Fall 2013. Comparing total trip starts and ends to the number of members gives some idea of where members are using the service. Of course, not every trip will start or end at a residence. This is clear from the highest usage per resident member being found in two Zip codes that cover parts of Downtown. Trips in this area are more likely to be between two non-residential locations.


For other Zip codes, the ranking of trips per resident member is similar to the ranking of members per adult resident. Where there are more Car2Go members, those members also tend to make more trips.


Aggregate statistics based on relatively large areas can’t show the diversity of factors that go into deciding whether to join and use a car sharing service. But they can hint at who is using the service. Proximity to downtown and residential density is clearly important, as Car2Go has made greatest inroads in membership and usage close to downtown. Income also appears to matter with the city’s richest and poorest neighborhoods both using the service much less than middle income neighborhoods close to downtown.

Evan Roberts

About Evan Roberts

Evan Roberts is an Assistant Professor of Population Studies and the History of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches and researches demography, labor and urban issues. He counts it as a successful week if he has run more miles than he has driven. Connect on twitter @evanrobertsnz or now Mastodon