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According to a recent article in ACCESS: The Magazine of the University of California Transportation Center, we now have an official study that shows what many people have suspected and anecdotally observed to be true: that car sharing leads to the reduction of personal vehicles owned. When someone joins a car sharing network, they often get rid of their personal vehicle.

The UCTC study surveyed 6,281 households that were part of car sharing networks, and found that households owned 2,968 vehicles before car sharing, or 0.47 vehicles per household. After car sharing, the group owned 1,507 vehicles, or 0.24 vehicles per household. That’s a decent sized reduction.

Additionally, people who join car sharing networks often times don’t own cars of their own to begin with — 60 percent of people who join car sharing networks already don’t own cars. So the ownership reduction mentioned above is actually larger than it looks.

Cars in car sharing networks are also more fuel efficient than the average automobile, since car sharing companies like Zipcar commonly bundle in fuel with the fees. The UCTC study found that the average car that was ditched for car sharing got 23 mpg, while cars in car sharing networks get an average 33 mpg.

As we mentioned in this blog in December, Hoboken is one of New Jersey’s premiere car-sharing communities and is doing a lot of work to encourage residents to live a greener and less gridlocked life with a wide range of programs, including its Corner Cars car sharing program and a Zipcar car sharing program.

On the Move readers, where in the Mercer/Ocean region would you like to see car-share programs? In which communities do you think it could work? Would you enroll in a car-share program? And if so, would you give up your own car?

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