Re: Car share club
From: C.C. Barron (
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 16:58:01 -0700 (MST)
There's a lot of great information on car sharing at  Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), this idea
hasn't caught on in Texas yet :-(  Maybe our future cohousing neighborhood
will host the first in Texas, who knows?  As a suburban cohousing project, we
can't rely on public transportation, but we would very much like to reduce
the number of cars we have, and carsharing sounds like the right mechanism to
do so.

Here's a quote from a recent article (the first one on the website above,
actually), that made me think (again) how synergistic this idea is for

"...shared-use vehicle organizations and automakers have collaborated with
housing developers in recent years to implement carsharing in planned
communities and multifamily housing complexes.  Through such partnerships,
stakeholders have discovered mutual benefits: 1) developers receive parking
variances that allow them to construct more housing with fewer dedicated
parking spaces, optimizing their returns,  and 2) vehicle providers realize
increased market share from residential communities.  Several examples of
this already exist.  City CarShare has partnered with developers to locate
cars within tenant garages.  In spring 2002, Zipcar launched carsharing
services at an elderly home in Greenburg, Maryland.  In addition, General
Electric Motors (GEM), a DaimlerChrysler company, is working with planned
communities to incorporate shared neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) into
their designs in California."  ... from "Shared-Use Vehicle Services" by
Susan Shaheen, PhD, Cal Berkeley  sashaheen [at]

I know the parking spaces and sharing stuff are common threads that have been
discussed in the cohousing community.  Have any cohousing groups actually
explored a carsharing partnership like this?  Please let me know if you have.

In addition to my work on cohousing, I serve on the city council commission
in Austin that governs such things as energy conservation and renewable
energy, so I'm looking into ways the city government can encourage car
sharing here.  A couple of instances of local government providing grants to
carshare start-ups are mentioned (but not named) in that same article -- I
haven't located who or where those were yet.  If you have tried to do
carsharing and needed help from your city government, let me know what it was
you needed -- maybe we could put it in place in Austin.


Cat Barron
Oak Village Commons -- Sustainable Living in Community
Austin, TX

Raines Cohen wrote:

> On 11/11/02 9:37 AM, Jeanne Goodman <GoodmanJ [at]> wrote:
> >We are considering a car share club for our community. Does anyone have
> >experience with car share clubs with some advice of things we should or
> >shouldn't do?
> Jeanne -
> First, build and move into your community. THEN worry about things like
> carsharing, meal sharing, shopping for each other, lending things, doing
> social things together, supporting your neighbors... build it gradually
> and naturally, don't try to do it all at once. Do reach out to FlexCar or
> your local car share operator about siting a car in your area or at least
> briefing the group and assessing the interest.
> My neighbor Joani and I (as profiled in the latest Cohousing Journal)
> share an electric car; there has been some additional informal
> sharing/borrowing occasionally, and one other neighbor has gotten rid of
> her car (and occasionally rents out the space to neighbors or has it
> available for visiting family or friends).
> CityCarShare now has a station wagon right outside our front gate, so
> that's available when we need it, for the several members here.
> Raines
> (catching up on an old thread that recently revived)
> Raines Cohen <my initials,2,dash,coho,dash,L at my first name .com>
>   Member, Swan's Market Coho [Oakland, CA] <>
> Where I'm co-cooking a "clean-out-the-freezer" common dinner tonight.
>   Facilitator, East Bay Cohousing [on hiatus] <>
> Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
>   Boardmember, The Cohousing Network <>
> Poring over many applications for the design and pubs jobs.
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