CAR SHARING Pilot Project Description As part of an overall municipal transportation strategy, the city of Futureville has decided to implement a car sharing system. A central part of the proposed operation is a computer-based information system to manage reservations, memberships, and the vehicle inventory, monitor and record vehicle usage, and support related activities such as billing, marketing, and communications. The immediate goals of the car sharing pilot project are to provide members with a high level of service, develop the infrastructure to support car sharing, and understand how members use the service. The profitability of a car share organization is a function of its size. The minimum size needed to cover administrative costs, as determined through research on other projects, is approximately 43 vehicles and 480 members. As the pilot project is substantially smaller – starting at 25 vehicles and 250 members – it will operate at a loss during the initial operating period. The pilot project’s term is three years. The pilot intends to serve approximately 150 members in the first year, 250 members at the end of the second year, and reach cost-recovery levels at the end of the third year. After one year the car share organization may expand the service or restructure the pilot to improve its service or financial characteristics. The initial members of a car sharing organization (the ‘early adopters’) can set the stage for its success or failure, depending on how they perceive its value and how they are served. This pilot project’s scale was selected to allow a full-time manager about twice the time needed for his or her job. This way, a high service level can be maintained and would allow the manager sufficient time to create the infrastructure necessary to expand the service. The pilot project will have two ‘spare’ vehicles that can be used in case of problems with other vehicles, or when a member uses a vehicle for an extended period of time. For the pilot, all vehicles will be new, compact to mid-sized sedans or station wagons. The expanded operation will consider adding specialty vehicles, such as minivans or pick-up trucks to meet members’ needs. The rate structure for the Futureville pilot project is patterned after other car sharing organizations. These fees include a non-refundable application fee, a refundable membership deposit, returnable when the member leaves the organization, and a first hour charge, a per hour fee, and a per mile fee. Members will be billed monthly. Car sharing membership will be offered to individuals only for their private use. Commercial or business use of vehicles will not be considered in the pilot project. Organizational Goals The business plan for the Futureville car sharing pilot project was commissioned by an oversight committee of local and provincial organizations and citizen participants. The goals include business viability, quality of service provided to members, and fulfillment of the interests of society at large. Social Goals Car sharing is expected to result in lower vehicle ownership rates and lower overall vehicle distance traveled. In neighborhoods where public parking is severely limited, fewer vehicles on the street will improve the parking situation. Lower overall vehicle distance traveled will result in reduced road congestion and in lower overall vehicle emissions. As the car share organization vehicles will be new and well maintained, they should also have lower emissions over the long run than vehicles they replace. Vehicles scrupulously maintained according to manufacturer recommendations are likely to have lower emissions than vehicles under average care. Business Goals The pilot project is not expected to be profitable, as it includes startup expenses and operates on a scale smaller than that necessary for financial profit. Operating on a small scale will allow time to learn how to manage and operate this new mobility service. Car sharing, li…

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