Friday, November 25, 2005

TCRP Report Discusses Carsharing Partnerships

The long awaited report Carsharing: Where and How It Succeeds is now available. It's the product of three years of effort by Adam Millard-Ball and others in the San Francisco office of Nelson\Nygaard Consulting and Jon Burkhardt of Westat in Rockville, MD. The report was commissioned by the Transit Cooperative Resarch Program (TCRP) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and funded by the US Department of Transportation.

In talking about potential markets, Millard-Ball makes a useful, and sometimes overlooked, distinction between demographic characteristics and geographic characteristics. The report includes a fascinating sample analysis of the carsharing characteristics of several neighborhoods in Madison, Wisconsin (unfortunately, much abbreviated from the draft version). The report also includes a survey of members from virtually every carshare in the US and several in Canada, providing a good overview of the characteristics, motivation and usage patterns of current members of what I consider the "classic" form of neighborhood and business carsharing.

The report will be appreciated for its detailed and extensive summary of the impacts and benefits of carsharing, gathered from every evaluation I've ever heard of (as well as several I wasn't aware of). There's also an amazing bibliography of documents from Europe and the US.

The report concludes with a discussion of major barriers to the adoption of carsharing by partners. They include:
• Understanding the role of carsharing
• Lack of data to make a decision
• Financial limitations
• Parking issues
• Low income participation
• Geographical and cultural barriers
There's also a discussion of the procedures agencies might use to partner with carsharing companies, including discussion of the RFP and other procurement methods.

In addition to the full report, several short (8 page) descriptions of carsharing partnership have been produced for specific partner groups. These include: local governments, transit agencies, developers, employers and businessesm and universities. These reports will be useful to provide background and "credibility" for the value of such a partnership. (As of when I wrote this, not all Partner reports were actually posted to their website for download.)

The full Nelson\Nygaard report (not including the appendices) are available at the LINK below. See the link on the Linked page for details on how to download the report with appendices