Monday, March 17, 2008

Updated North American Carsharing Map

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Last week I published a very unsatisfactory map attempting to locate all the cities and colleges and universities with carsharing operations. I never could get the map to display multiple companies service the same town, so I went back to placing the pins "by hand" (or at least by mouse) on a Google map. I've color coded the pins to help sort them out. To get any use out of it, you'll have to click on the map to open a larger version of it. Even then you'll want to zoom in on some cities to get more detail.

Basically the color coding is: Blue pins are carsharing operated by a for-profit company; Green is a nonprofit company; Purples are cities with competition (usually between a for-profit and nonprofit; Yellow is a university operation. I've put a dot in the middle of pin to represent cities with major operations (at least 25 cars).

The state of the carsharing industry in North America right now is almost 100 different cities have some sort of formal carsharing. With the merger of Flexcar and Zipcar, 5 cities have direct competition between major operators - typically Zipcar and a nonprofit: Vancouver, BC; Toronto; San Francisco; Chicago and Philadelphia. Six more have competition with U-Carshare, U-Haul's quasi carsharing operation - Portland; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Madison, Wisconsin, Washington, DC, Philadelphia; and Austin, Texas. (I say quasi, because the PT Cruisers are all parked on U-Haul's lots, not decentralized.) Two cities have government-sponsored carsharing - Scoot in Bremerton, Washington (operated by the transit agency) and Roaring Fork Valley Vehicles in Aspen (operated in conjunction with the city). About 30 colleges and universities are served by dedicated carsharing operations, not associated with a citywide operation.

I'll wait for Dr. Susan Shaheen's next round up of carsharing vehicle and membership totals but my guess is there are more than 8,000 vehicles in carsharing fleets in North America, with another 500 vehicles or so at universities and colleges.

As before, I welcome your comments and suggestions. And if anyone knows mapping software I'd be delighted to provide them the spreadsheet I've developed to create a better map. Thanks.