The impact of free-floating carsharing on car ownership: Early-stage findings from London

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Title: The impact of free-floating carsharing on car ownership: Early-stage findings from London
Authors: Le Vine, SE
Polak, JW
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Free-floating carsharing is a rapidly growing urban mobility service. It has emerged at commercial scale more recently than traditional ‘round-trip’ carsharing, and at present its growth trajectory is steeper. The evidence base regarding its impacts on sustainable transport indicators is, however, less well-developed. This issue is topical for a variety of reasons, including the importance of public policy to the success of this form of carsharing. The research objective of this study is to establish the early-stage impact of free-floating carsharing on private car ownership. We report findings from a point in time three months following the initiation of a free-floating carsharing service in London (UK). We investigate characteristics of FFCS users that are associated with having one’s car ownership impacted, as well as the distinction between deterrence of increased car ownership and sale/disposal of a previously owned private car. We find that 37% (n=347; 95% confidence interval: ±5%) of users indicate that free-floating carsharing has impacted their ownership of private cars. Of this 37%, a large majority (83%) indicated that the mechanism of impact was that they decided not to buy a car that they otherwise would have purchased. 11% reported that they had disposed of a car in the past three months, and 6% stated that they will sell a private car within the next three months. The average income and education level of users are both higher than for the general population. Within the population of service-users, multivariate analysis demonstrates that, net of confounding effects, heavier (more-frequent) service-users are more likely to indicate impacts on car ownership, and that being highly-educated and higher-income than other users were both (independently) associated with maintaining one’s car ownership level. Additional findings are presented that relate car ownership impacts to further demographic characteristics as well as behavioural indicators. Our findings should be interpreted to pertain to the ‘early adopter’ cohort of FFCS users, and as free-floating carsharing services mature and grow further research will be needed to ascertain how user characteristics, behaviour and impacts are evolving.
Issue Date: 13-Sep-2016
Date of Acceptance: 12-Feb-2017
ISSN: 0967-070X
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal / Book Title: Transport Policy
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Funder's Grant Number: BH151279 (EP/N010612/1)
Keywords: Logistics & Transportation
1205 Urban And Regional Planning
1507 Transportation And Freight Services
Publication Status: Accepted
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering

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