The automobile is the dominant travel mode throughout the U.S., while transit accounts for less than four-percent of market share. Between these principal modes, niche markets exist for other transportation services, such as transit feeder shuttles and carsharing. Carsharing, in which individuals share a fleet of vehicles distributed at neighborhoods, employment sites, and/or transit stations, could potentially fill and expand one such niche; complement existing services; and develop into an economically viable transportation alternative. While most transit modes rely heavily upon governmental support, carsharing has the potential to become commercially sustainable. Nevertheless, carsharing is a relatively new development in the U.S. and will require more time to develop into a sustainable and widespread transportation alternative. This paper includes a brief discussion of carsharing history in Europe and an overview of U.S. carsharing developments. It also highlights CarLink-the first smart commuter-based carsharing program in the San Francisco Bay Area-to examine the market potential and viability of one U.S. shared-use vehicle model in greater detail. (For more information on CarLink go to Finally, the author concludes this paper with a discussion of the complementary niche potential of carsharing to fill existing gaps between traditional transit and private vehicles.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Full conference proceedings available on CD-ROM.
  • Corporate Authors:

    ITS America

    1100 17th Street, NW, 12th Floor
    Washington, DC  United States  20036
  • Authors:
    • Shaheen, S A
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2001


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 11p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00961982
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 26 2003 12:00AM