More Cities to Support Car-Sharing Services

After Seattle, Vancouver and San Francisco, Toronto is next in supporting the car-sharing initiative, which has been proven as a more efficient and less polluting approach to urban driving.

The cities have launched a series of car-sharing benefits by allowing condo developers to reduce their underground parking requirements if they agree to provide on-site spaces for commercial or nonprofit car-sharing companies.

Therefore, Toronto has reviewed the condo parking regulations and moved to a system that would include dedicate spaces for car-sharing services in the parking lots. An IBI Group study conducted in March found that a 250-unit building in Toronto with 16 parking spaces dedicated to car-sharing vehicles could eliminate 47 parking spaces, KickingTires reported.

Another study, conducted by Zipcar, a car-sharing service company, revealed a potential global car-sharing market of more than 37 million members and annual revenues that could top 10 billion dollars.

“This study confirms that car-sharing is a mainstream service, and underscores the global economic and environmental impact of the industry,” said Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar.

“As Zipcar expands our network of vehicles around the globe and invest in new technologies, car-sharing will continue to become even more convenient and cost effective than owning a car. Based on ten years of experience, knowledge and analysis, we are fully aware that the cities investing in the car-sharing model and the residents therein will reap economical and ecological rewards.”

That trend points to the need for looser parking regulations for developers, Kevin McLaughlin, president of Autoshare in Toronto, said: “If we’re building our cities for the next 50 years, we’re not going to need one or two cars per condo unit locked in the basement.”

However, though some feared this will mean trouble for the new-car purchases, no study has shown a clear evidence to support this hypothesis. It’s more likely that people will choose to use car-sharing services from time to time and still buy a car of their own.
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