People PlacesPeople Places: Car and Mobility Sharing

Edited by John December

This page is about lifestyle choice where you avoid vehicle ownership and instead get rides from others, use transit services, or share the use of a vehicle. The basic idea is this: avoid owning a car, be car-free as much as possible, but keep the idea that you can rent or borrow a car or request a ride from someone only when you need it--for a big shopping trip or other project. That way, you avoid the tremendous expense of owning, maintaining, storing, and insuring your own vehicle that may be dormant, unusued, and costing you money most of the time. Note that this discussion isn't limited to car sharing only, but a broad range of choices for mobility.

Ride Sharing

Borrow from Car-Free Tactics

Of course, with a goal of mobility sharing (not just limiting your thinking to car sharing only), you can pick tactics from a car-free lifestyle. You thus might consider a taxi, bus, train, boat, or other transportation services where you get a ride in a vehicle you don't own, lease, or share.

Use Innovative On-Demand Mobility Services

Get an on-demand ride in a car or van when you need it using contemporary concepts of mobile on-demand services and payments.

Share Rides

Expand your options by getting a ride with someone or giving someone a ride. In many cases these are indeed the "good ol' car pooling" systems of decades past, but in many other cases, these aren't your grandfather's car pools--many involve social media, mobile technology, and mobile payments to facilitate sharing rides.

  • Waze: carpooling (limited areas only as of 2016)
  • Go Carma: mobility services under the concept of the ownerless car
  • CarpoolWorld: matches commuters or other travelers
  • Carpooling: connects drivers who are going on mid- to long-distance journey (average trip is 200+ km) with people who need a ride
  • erideshare: membership site for carpooling--daily, cross-country, local, groups, or events
  • zimride: ridesharing using social networks with a focus on college, university, and corporate communities
  • AlterNetRides: encourage all forms of alternative transportation: carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking, and public transportation; used by specific universities, companies, resorts, hospitals
  • BlaBlaCar: connects people who need a ride with drivers with empty seats; in parts Europe, Asia, and North America.
Car Sharing

Major Short-term rental companies

Belong to a commercial car-sharing service where you can get a car to use when you need it.

Share Community Cars

Note that in many communities, the car sharing system became absorbed into the companies listed above (e.g., ZipCar), so check those sites if you don't see your community listed here.

Person-to-person Car Sharing

Rent a car directly from an owner or lend out your car to others.

  • JustShareIt: person-to-person vehicle sharing marketplace
  • RelayRides: rent cars from people in your community.
  • Getaround: rent a car from someone nearby. Currently available in San Francisco Bay Area; Portland, OR; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; and in limited areas of San Diego, CA.

"If you live in a city, you don't need to own a car."
--William Clay Ford Jr., CEO, Ford Motor Company Ltd.

Car-Sharing Club Poster by Weimer Pursell (1943), US Government Printing Office
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For more information

  • CarSharing Association, carsharing organizations working for transit-oriented urban mobility.

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2022-08-03 · · Terms © December Communications, Inc.