Car sharing as an alternative to car ownership: opportunities for carsharing organizations and low-income communities
Car sharing organizations (CSOs) have established themselves as a formal mode of transportation across the United States. These systems purport to offer their members the benefits of a private vehicle, without any of the accompanying pitfalls. Despite these benefits, low-income individuals are less likely to be a member of a CSO than higher-income individuals. This paper synthesizes the major transportation issues facing low-income individuals, explores possible opportunities between CSOs and low-income communities, and examines 7 CSOs for best practice in encouraging participation by low-income individuals. The findings show that when viewed as one piece of the transportation puzzle, CSOs can fill gaps in the transportation system and provide numerous benefits. With community partnerships, innovative solutions, and active outreach, CSOs can broaden awareness of carshare systems and facilitate increased usage among low-income individuals.