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

6 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Minneapolis Per Capita Car2go Membership

  1. Bill LindekeBill Lindeke

    I’d imagine that Downtown East population is far smaller than the North Loop’s? Or does it include all the new developments in the Mill District?

    Basically, if you buy a new apartment or condo, you are far more likely to use car2go. That’s quite interesting, and should affect parking minimum discussions.

    1. Evan RobertsEvan Roberts Post author

      zip pop 15 and over
      55401 (North Loop) 6,885
      55402 (Downtown — mostly business) 338
      55403 (Downtown West/Lowry Hill) 13,808
      55404 (Elliott Park / Phillips) 22,548
      55405 (Kenwood/Bryn Mawr/Harrison) 12,749
      55406 (Longfellow) 26,790
      55407 (Powderhorn) 28,583
      55408 (Uptown) 26,628
      55409 (Kingfield) 10,057
      55410 (Southwest) 15,908
      55411 (Jordan/Near North) 19,528
      55412 (North Mpls, N. of Lowry Ave) 16,022
      55413 (Northeast — south) 11,374
      55414 (Southeast) 26,020
      55415 (Downtown East) 2,754
      55416 (west of Calhoun) 25,031
      55417 (Nokomis) 20,844
      55418 (Northeast — north) 25,124
      55419 (Lynnhurst) 21,173

      1. Evan RobertsEvan

        It would be fascinating to see the start and end points of individual journeys, and know whether the end is close to a member’s address etc … Nice Ride had made analogous data public, but not sure if Car2Go will

        The most striking thing to me actually was that the cars are only in use 27 minutes a day on average. In one sense this confirms Donald Shoup’s statistic that cars are parked ~95% of the time, but I would have expected lower for car-sharing.

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