It’s not a new idea, but it’s an idea whose time has come. In our urban environments, it is getting increasingly more difficult, not to mention expensive, to own a car. In cities such as New York and Boston, people have left their vehicles long ago for the advantage of public transportation. But what options are there in cities like Denver, where efficient public transportation is still developing, and the sprawl of the city makes pedestrian modes of travel impractical?
The solution is car sharing. The idea is that a group of people can share vehicles conveniently placed throughout the city through a membership program. In Denver, one such company is OccasionalCar
As a proponent of New Urbanism, we as architects are in full support of car sharing programs like these and can work with owners and developers to build into our planning and design special parking places for these kinds of solutions. There are also LEED points for alternative transportation solutions like this for sustainable projects seeking LEED certification. To date, there are already a number of existing condominium associations looking into the idea as a benefit to their residents. Throughout the rest of the city, urban residents have access to conveniently placed vehicles in key locations.
Car Sharing reduces the number of cars in the city by allowing multiple drivers to use the vehicles only when necessary, and the cost comparison for membership vs owning when you only use the vehicle infrequently for city trips just makes sense.