[Fwd: CNU: Car Sharing]
From: Mark Dempsey (mxd2osi.com)
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 17:28:50 -0600
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
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Here's a cross-post about car sharing projects (with a link!) from the
Congress of New Urbanism list that might be of interest to cohousers...

Patrick Siegman wrote:
> 
> Dennis McClendon wrote:
> 
> >I would LOVE to see car-sharing work, because I live in a neighborhood
> >(downtown Chicago) where such a program could be extremely beneficial.  The
> >area was planned in the late 1970s without resident parking, on the
> >assumption that residents would work downtown.  So many of us have jobs or
> >clients in the suburbs--or need to visit friends and grocery stores--that
> >parking is a necessary evil for us.  I pay $100 a month just to park a car
> >that is driven less than 1000 miles a year, because renting one is so
> >expensive and inconvenient.
> >
> >But before springing headlong into this experiment, I want to know what
> >went wrong last time.  Car-sharing was much in the news in 1984-85, with a
> >big pilot project called STAR (Short Term Auto Rental) at San Francisco's
> >ParkMerced Apartments (a huge MetLife project in the Outer Sunset).  It
> >failed, and I'd like to know why before repeating the experiment.
> 
> In Switzerland,  Mobility Car Sharing Switzerland now has over 20,000
> members and more than 1,000 vehicles. Their success, and STAR's failure to
> last, gives a few clues about what it takes to make carsharing work. It
> helps to have:
> 
> 1) The right entrepreneur: STAR was a demonstration project, run by Crain &
> Associates, a transportation consulting and research firm. Crain &
> Associates is a fine firm and does good work. But speaking as a
> transportation planner myself, I can say we transportation planning
> consultants aren't likely to have the right skills, drive or commitment. We
> are skilled at winning $100,000+ contracts with cities, not at selling
> memberships and rentals to customers. Well-qualified planners are used to
> billing at $100/hr, not at struggling to build a start-up retail business.
> Why vacuum cars, hassle with bent fenders and endure a couple of years of
> losses, when you can go bid on other, more lucrative contracts when the
> demonstration project grant has been spent? A car rental agency, or heck,
> anyone with the guts to open a restaurant or shop, is more likely to stick
> with it.
> 
> 2) High density: Enough people within walking distance of each car, as in
> Switzerland's compact cities.
> 
> 3)  Excellent transit and bikeways: most Swiss car sharing members also own
> a monthly transit pass and a bike. The network now has cars stationed at
> dozens of train stations, so members can now hop a train to almost any city
> in the country, and complete their journey by pre-reserved car. At the
> "Überall in der Schweiz und immer in Ihrer Nähe (Standortliste)" link at
> http://www.mobility.ch/, you can check out the nationwide list of standort
> (parking stations)-- note all the listed Bahnhofs and Tramdepot.
> 
> 4) Cross-selling and tie-ins to transit: Schweizerische Bundesbahnen, the
> national rail system, promotes the car sharing company (and vice versa)
> with discount 'train pass plus car sharing hours' deals, creating wonderful
> German ad slogans like "Das ist das Abo mit Auto". (Who says German isn't a
> beautiful language?)
> 
> 5) The Internet: You can also now reserve your car on-line at the same
> website, which cuts costs for both the company and the member.
> 
> 6) No minimum parking requirements: Why join a car sharing plan, when the
> government has already forced you to pay one of the largest costs of car
> ownership? If we Californians weren't forced to buy $30,000-60,000 worth of
> parking to go with every 1-bedroom apartment, we might not buy so many $500
> junker cars to put in them. (That's typical average minimums of two parking
> spaces per apartment, at $15-30K per space.) If American planners ever
> learn to design and operate good on-street residential parking permit
> districts, then a parking market, with separate charges for parking space
> rental, can emerge. Then, suddenly, things like car sharing become
> economically viable, while housing costs decline.
> 
> Patrick Siegman
> Siegman & Associates: Town & Transportation Planning
> 260 Palo Alto Avenue
> Palo Alto CA 94301
> 
> Phone:  (650) 462-5915
> Fax:     (650) 566-0832
> siegman [at] sirius.com

-- 
Regards,

-- mailto:Mark.Dempsey [at] osi.com
--
-- Mark Dempsey 
-- Technical Publications
-- Objective Systems Integrators
-- 110 Woodmere, Folsom, CA 95630
-- 916.353.2400 x 4777
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Return-Path: <owner-cnu [at] lsv.uky.edu>
Date:         Wed, 2 Dec 1998 01:19:23 -0800
Reply-To: Congress on New Urbanism <CNU [at] lsv.uky.edu>
Sender: Congress on New Urbanism <CNU [at] lsv.uky.edu>
From: Patrick Siegman <siegman [at] sirius.com>
Subject:      Re: CNU: Car Sharing
To: CNU [at] lsv.uky.edu
In-Reply-To:  <199812020222.UAA09838 [at] eagle.ais.net>

Dennis McClendon wrote:

>I would LOVE to see car-sharing work, because I live in a neighborhood
>(downtown Chicago) where such a program could be extremely beneficial.  The
>area was planned in the late 1970s without resident parking, on the
>assumption that residents would work downtown.  So many of us have jobs or
>clients in the suburbs--or need to visit friends and grocery stores--that
>parking is a necessary evil for us.  I pay $100 a month just to park a car
>that is driven less than 1000 miles a year, because renting one is so
>expensive and inconvenient.
>
>But before springing headlong into this experiment, I want to know what
>went wrong last time.  Car-sharing was much in the news in 1984-85, with a
>big pilot project called STAR (Short Term Auto Rental) at San Francisco's
>ParkMerced Apartments (a huge MetLife project in the Outer Sunset).  It
>failed, and I'd like to know why before repeating the experiment.


In Switzerland,  Mobility Car Sharing Switzerland now has over 20,000
members and more than 1,000 vehicles. Their success, and STAR's failure to
last, gives a few clues about what it takes to make carsharing work. It
helps to have:

1) The right entrepreneur: STAR was a demonstration project, run by Crain &
Associates, a transportation consulting and research firm. Crain &
Associates is a fine firm and does good work. But speaking as a
transportation planner myself, I can say we transportation planning
consultants aren't likely to have the right skills, drive or commitment. We
are skilled at winning $100,000+ contracts with cities, not at selling
memberships and rentals to customers. Well-qualified planners are used to
billing at $100/hr, not at struggling to build a start-up retail business.
Why vacuum cars, hassle with bent fenders and endure a couple of years of
losses, when you can go bid on other, more lucrative contracts when the
demonstration project grant has been spent? A car rental agency, or heck,
anyone with the guts to open a restaurant or shop, is more likely to stick
with it.

2) High density: Enough people within walking distance of each car, as in
Switzerland's compact cities.

3)  Excellent transit and bikeways: most Swiss car sharing members also own
a monthly transit pass and a bike. The network now has cars stationed at
dozens of train stations, so members can now hop a train to almost any city
in the country, and complete their journey by pre-reserved car. At the
"=DCberall in der Schweiz und immer in Ihrer N=E4he (Standortliste)" link at
http://www.mobility.ch/, you can check out the nationwide list of standort
(parking stations)-- note all the listed Bahnhofs and Tramdepot.

4) Cross-selling and tie-ins to transit: Schweizerische Bundesbahnen, the
national rail system, promotes the car sharing company (and vice versa)
with discount 'train pass plus car sharing hours' deals, creating wonderful
German ad slogans like "Das ist das Abo mit Auto". (Who says German isn't a
beautiful language?)

5) The Internet: You can also now reserve your car on-line at the same
website, which cuts costs for both the company and the member.

6) No minimum parking requirements: Why join a car sharing plan, when the
government has already forced you to pay one of the largest costs of car
ownership? If we Californians weren't forced to buy $30,000-60,000 worth of
parking to go with every 1-bedroom apartment, we might not buy so many $500
junker cars to put in them. (That's typical average minimums of two parking
spaces per apartment, at $15-30K per space.) If American planners ever
learn to design and operate good on-street residential parking permit
districts, then a parking market, with separate charges for parking space
rental, can emerge. Then, suddenly, things like car sharing become
economically viable, while housing costs decline.



Patrick Siegman
Siegman & Associates: Town & Transportation Planning
260 Palo Alto Avenue
Palo Alto CA 94301

Phone:  (650) 462-5915
=46ax:     (650) 566-0832
siegman [at] sirius.com

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