Philly CarShare Helps City Government Reduce Its Fleet

car_share_philly.JPGThe Philly CarShare program (Motto: "Why own when you can borrow?") is one of the most successful of its kind in the country. Currently in its fifth year, the Philadelphia-based non-profit recently surpassed 30,000 members and is generating $10 million annually to pay for a small staff, the purchase and maintenance of a fleet, and a reduction in rates when possible.

Started by two city planners, a community activist and an investment banker, Philly CarShare’s goal is "fewer cars clogging streets and lungs." Yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

One of Philly CarShare’s advantages is the relationship it has with local government. In 2004, it awarded Philly CarShare a contract that allows multiple departments to share cars, and then frees them up at night and on weekends for use by city residents.

As a result, Philadelphia was able to sell off 329 vehicles. Since the program started, the estimated saving in lower insurance costs, less use, and less abuse is $6 million, according to Jeff Friedman, a consultant for the city’s Office of Fleet Management.

Nationally, Sheehan says, studies show that each shared car takes six to 10 private vehicles off the road. Factor in the number of car purchases postponed or canceled, and the number jumps to about 25.


Photo: Jonathan Wilson

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Expanding Car-Share Beyond America’s Biggest Cities

|
The growth of car-share has helped people forgo the expense of car ownership in major cities like Washington and Seattle, where it’s been widely adopted. But not every city has the market to sustain car-share services from companies like Zipcar or Hertz. In his book Walkable City, Jeff Speck writes that your city might not […]

California Poised to Allow Personal Vehicle Sharing Services

|
(Photo: Car sharing is a growth industry, as pioneer City CarShare would tell you, and it has beneficial environmental and economic impacts. Studies of car sharing services like Zipcar and City CarShare show that for every car that is shared, up to 15 private vehicles are taken off the road. Owning and operating a personal […]

New Philly Mayor: Politicos Can No Longer Park on the City Hall Sidewalk

|
The Jim Kenney administration is off to a promising start in Philadelphia. One of the mayor’s first acts in office was to end the thoroughly obnoxious practice of letting government honchos park on the sidewalk “apron” around City Hall — a public space. There was a Tumblr dedicated to chronicling this highly visible abuse of government privilege. And ending the […]

Philly Reduced Its Public Parking Supply and More Spaces Opened Up

|
If you remove a bunch of parking from the center of a city, you’ll get carmageddon, financial ruin, and the complete unraveling of society as we know it — right? That’s what you tend to hear at public meetings when a proposal that would reduce parking comes up, but as this real-life example from Philadelphia shows, there’s really nothing […]