Car Sharing Network CarSharing carshare car share

September 2014

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Carsharing launched a revolution in personal transportation - urban mobility for the 21st century.

Carsharing is designed to replace car ownership for people who do not need to drive to work every day, and to significantly reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Car sharing is a service that provides 24/7 self-serve access to a network of vehicles stationed around your city (and increasingly, cities world-wide), which can be reserved by the hour or day via smart phones, Internet and call centres.

This amazing green business idea works because people save money, and lose the hassles of ownership, yet still have the beneficts of access to a car when they need one.

Car Sharing pilot projects like Witkar began as early as the 1960's and 1970's, but modern car sharing programs launched in 1987 in Switzerland and later in 1988 in Germany, and came to North America via Quebec City in 1994. [The first successful car share in the USA, Portland Oregon's CarSharing-PDX, launched in 1998.]

Carsharing now has many different forms, including:

Some programs are often mislabelled carsharing, including:

As of January 2014, - based on data provided by Susan Shaheen, University of California, Berkeley - approximately 1,462,056 carsharing members were sharing 21,459 vehicles in the Americas.

  • 24 U.S. operators claimed 1,228,573 members shared 17,179 vehicles
  • 19 Canadian operators claimed 224,523 members and shared 4,174 vehicles
  • In Mexico, 5,634 members shared 50 vehicles among one operator
  • In Brazil, one operator claimed 3,326 members sharing 56 vehicles.


For more information, please also visit the CarSharing Association, the authority on all things carsharing.

Carsharing membership has grown tremendously over the past 20 years - since it launched in North America in Quebec City in 1994 - and the industry has recently attracted significant commercial attention. Take a look at the first 15 years of carsharing growth in North America:

'If you live in a city, you don't need to own a car.'

William Clay Ford Jr.,
Chair, Ford Motor Company Ltd.
November 2000