Car Share, Shift Plan

Car Share makes it easier for people not to own a car or for a household to avoid owning multiple cars by providing an option for occasional vehicle trips. It can support transit and multimodal lifestyles, reduce household transportation costs, and flexibly connect transit users to broader destinations than transit or bike share.

Car share is a model through which vehicles are made available to program members for hourly or daily use. Vehicles are typically picked up and dropped off at designated parking locations within the community, and are made available to provide flexible access to a vehicle.

Car share is supportive of transit use and an overall multi-modal lifestyle, and can reduce the rate of private vehicle ownership or use. Families that cannot afford (or choose not to buy) a car (or second car) can access a vehicle when necessary, but otherwise rely on transit, carpooling, or active transportation. Drivers who may wish to purchase an electric car but worry about range for longer but infrequent trips can use a car share vehicle as needed.

Priority Actions (Car Share)

1. Evaluate opportunities for new or expanded car share models, including private operators or non-profit fleet based partnerships.
2. Plan for initial implementation or expansion in areas expected to have highest demand for initial implementation.
3. Consider siting in shared mobility hubs, near transit centers and in neighborhoods with gaps in transit service.
4. Consider siting in communities of concern, regardless of productivity.
5. Consider opportunities to integrate plug-in electric vehicles.

The Shift Car Share Feasibility Study recommends operating models, priority initial
locations, and site design considerations.

6. Ensure parking regulations allow for designation of parking spaces for round-trip fleetbased car share, or free and unlimited parking for one-way cars share.
7. Commit to purchase memberships for municipal employees, as an employee commute benefit or to replace fleet travel.

8. Coordinate countywide implementation via the SCTA/RCPA.
9. Partner with existing car share providers operating in Sonoma County.
10. Facilitate partnerships with large local businesses and employers.
11. Include car share information on any web-based transit trip planning tools, employer, and tourism sites.
12. Coordinate discounts or giveaways on car share membership or transit passes with purchase of one of the two products.

13. Include attractive in-kind services within a request for proposals from car share providers.
14. Provide free on-street or public garage parking spaces, especially at or near transit hubs.
15. Secure funding for start-up costs from grants, business sponsors, transit-operators, nonprofits, or other partners.

16. Develop an education and awareness campaign.
17. Post wayfinding and signage directing users between car share and transit hubs.
18. Advertise car share at transit hubs and on transit vehicles.


Car share has many co-benefits, including:

» Saves families and individuals hundreds of dollars every month in car payments, insurance, gas, registration and repairs by enabling members to avoid owning a personal vehicle or additional vehicles
» Encourages individuals to choose alternative commute options by providing short-term car rentals near work or school for shorter trips such as errands and business meetings
» Reduces the need for vehicle ownership and reliance on single-occupancy vehicle travel, thereby reducing vehicle miles traveled and GHG emissions.


Car Share Feasibility Study


The work upon which this publication is based was funded in whole or in part through a grant awarded by the California Strategic Growth Council.

The statements and conclusions of this report are those of the SCTA/RCPA and/or Subcontractor and not necessarily those of the California Strategic Growth Council or of the California Department of Conservation, or its employees. The California Strategic Growth Council and the California Department of Conservation make no warranties, express or implied, and assume no liability for the information contained in the succeeding text.