UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding modes of carsharing : differentiations between one-way and two-way member adoption and utilization Lempert, Rainer


In post-industrial economies, 40% of all GHG emissions are from transport services while three-quarters of the population live in urban centers. Provision of more efficient transportation services is a key to reducing GHG emissions, urban air pollution, and traffic congestion. Carsharing is often viewed as an environmentally efficient alternative to private car ownership. Many municipal governments have adopted this belief and support carsharing through various accommodations and subsidies. These policies often apply equally to all services that fall under the carsharing umbrella, including one-way, or free-floating carshare and two-way, or round-trip carshare. This thesis attempts to differentiate these two modes of travel with the goal of informing nuanced transportation policy. Results from a survey in Vancouver, Canada showed that one-way and two-way carsharing members have different motivations for carsharing and travel patterns. One-way members self-report that they carshare for convenience, using shared vehicles twice as frequently and private vehicles three times as frequently as two-way members. Two-way members choose carsharing for financial savings and a more efficient lifestyle. They tend to walk and bike more often than one-way members and the overall Vancouver population. Overall, two-way members are more likely to seek efficiency and frugality in their transportation habits and are superior planners. Analysis of trip data in Metro Vancouver leads to further differentiations. One-way vehicles are used for commuting, having highest utilization during morning and afternoon commute hours. A dominant spatiotemporal flow of one-way vehicle is observed, with vehicles leaving residential neighborhoods towards business-oriented neighborhoods during morning commute hours then reversing the trip during evening commute hours. A preliminary framework is introduced to determine whether a one-way trip is a replacement or first mile/last mile complement to other forms of transportation, in particular transit. Two-way vehicles are most utilized on weekends and show no geographic biases in neighborhood idle times Metro Vancouver. Municipalities may consider these differences between one-way and two-way carsharing of relevance for policy construction.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International