Car sharing fees include costs associated with maintenance, fuel and insurance. If you drive only occasionally, this presents significant savings over costs that would be incurred with car ownership. Families with two cars may consider selling one to save money and or hassle, and using a car sharing plan when the need arises. The idea seems particularly intriguing with the run away gas prices we have faced at the pumps recently.
It has been long said that Americans have an intense love affair with their cars. Consequently, it has been somewhat challenging for clean air campaigns to win over long time converts willing to abandon their cars in mass numbers. Even with rising gas prices it has been difficult to predict the tipping point that will produce a significant change in car driving patterns. Car sharing just might provide the happy medium that pleases both camps. Sharing offers many of the benefits of ownership and none of the hassles.
Car sharing works best in communities that have a well-developed mass transit system. The sharing plan is also likely to work best in areas that are highly populated, where gridlocked traffic and hard to find parking spaces encourage potential users to seek out this alternative.
For all the benefits, car sharing does have its detractors. Those that are not car sharing advocates point to doubts that the plan can have any significant impact on traffic or the environment. Incentives provided for car sharers in communities where the program operates have also raised the hackles of detractors. For example, car sharers get free and or prime parking spaces that are not available to car owners. Still, most are excited about the potential of the idea and hopeful that car sharing will represent an important piece of the transportation puzzle that vexes so many major cities.