Multiplier and Transfer Effects of Car Sharing in Australia

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It is often assumed that members of car sharing organizations (CSOs) observe voluntary simplicity as a way of life, and that their philosophical and moralistic values revolve around avoiding unnecessary consumption. This paper presents some evidence showing that this conjecture is plausible. Almost 300 members of GoGet, Australia’s first and largest CSO, participated in an online survey that showed, among others, that 18% gave up their only car before joining and 74% of them do not consider to buy a car after joining. Sign-up data from the over 700 members also show that they have a significantly lower annual VKT (vehicle kilometers travelled) compared to the average Australian, and that their car travels have reduced since becoming a car-sharer. Email interviews further indicate the presenceof two phenomena resulting from their car sharing experiences, which we refer to as “multiplier effects” and “transfer effects”. We found that indirect sustainability gains flow from using car sharing that are beyond the sustainability of the specific domain the PSS was designed to make more sustainable; for instance, car-sharers tend to walk more and local shops benefit from car-sharing because people drive less. Moreover, there are signs that the skill and attitude changes learnt from the use of car sharing are somehow exported to other aspects of everyday life; thus, those who sign up for car sharing because of lack of capital or parking facilities find themselves more agreeable to sharing products in other aspects of their life, such as sharing toys and tools in special “libraries”.
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Ramirez, Mariano Jr
Nawangpalupi, Catharina
Tonkinwise, Cameron
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