car sharing

Interview with Anette Scheibe of Kista Science City: from Fossil Fuels to Intelligent Transport Solutions ‘the Stockholm Way’

Interview with Anette Scheibe of Kista Science City: from Fossil Fuels to Intelligent Transport Solutions ‘the Stockholm Way’.This entry is the first in a series of interviews conducted by Cluster in collaboration with Living Labs Global (LLG) in occasion of the second edition of the second edition of Living Labs Global Award, an international technology award for digital services that add high value to users in cities around the world. 8 global cities partnered with LLG to search for solutions to their most pressing local problems in a global context.

AB 1871

Flexcar, ZipCar Early this month, California passed AB 1871 – a first-in-the-nation bill that will allow private car owners to rent out their cars as part of a car-sharing fleet without losing their personal auto insurance.  AB 1871 was one of few bills that see strong bipartisan support.

While companies like ZipCar and City Car Share have been operating in California for a long time (and in other states), the US has yet to reap the real benefits of car sharing.  The UK’s WhipCar, on the other hand, saw a dramatic jump from 30 to 600 personal rental cars in a matter of months, simply by targeting the cash-strapped and/or car-less population. Personal car sharing seems like a win-win-win: car owners can help offset the costs of car ownership; car-less citizens get the convenience of ownership without the full costs; and the environment (both physical and natural) benefits from fewer cars on the road.  According to a report from SPUR, San Francisco’s non-profit car-share company, City CarShare, will begin leveraging the new law January 1st, when they’ll facilitate private vehicles joining the fleet through its website.

-Terra Curtis

Fare/Share NYC

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nz3BmxLdWU&w=440&h=385] The concept of mobile carpooling and ride-shares are nothing new. Las week alone, we highlighted Cabulous and Weels on this platform. But, we've also seen, that the success of these platforms and services are often directly related to the number of users because you can't share a ride when there isn't another user around.

That's why I'm keen to see the splash when a new, FREE, application makes when it hits NYC in a few weeks. From numbers provided by the New York Taxi & Limousine Commision, we know that 69% of cab rides transport single patrons while one in four cab rides within the city could potentially be shared. Clearly there is a latent need for such a service in this city.

Even better, the application design seems to be pretty good. It features one-click ride requests, fare calculations, identification by photo or apparel, PayPal integration and a rating system. For increased safety, Fare/Share allows users to rate travelling companions after each trip and offers gender-specific riding requests. And, best of of all, the technology helps divide the cab cost based on the distance travelled by each rider, suggesting payment amounts that make sure riders don’t end up paying for the few extra blocks travelled by their companions.

Weeels, Cabulous

A number of new mobile phone apps are springing up around collaborative cab calling. It’s a common scene: someone standing on the corner trying to hail a cab while handfuls pass by, already full. But most cabs probably aren’t really full, so by teaming up with someone near your street corner, you’ll save a taxi trip, get a ride sooner, use less gas, and cut your cab fare in half. One of these apps recently highlighted in GOOD Magazine’s Daily GOOD (a daily e-mail with an inspirational announcement) is called Weeels.  Weeels is a New York-based app built by a team concerned with improving urban life, transportation, and the environment.  The app connects users to people to share travel with, decreasing the rate and hopefully increasing the speed with which one finds a ride.  You can see a video about Weeels here.

Cabulous is a San Francisco-based app whose focus is more on collaboration between potential riders and drivers.  It’s available both as a web app and a mobile app (video here).  Users can see nearby cabs on a map, hail them by double clicking, and track the cab’s progress in their direction.  Meanwhile, the driver of the cab can track the movement of the rider, so if she decides to go 50 feet down the street to the coffee shop, the driver will know her updated location.  Cabs can pay a premium to be highlighted on the map, and local businesses can pay to advertise their location on the map.  So, individuals get cabs faster, cabs don’t have to deal with as many no-shows or down time, and local businesses are supported by the foot traffic generated by the app (riders don’t have to stay put after they’ve called the cab).  It seems to be a win for all.

WhipCar

Car sharing services like ZipCar have proven quite successful, now available in most major cities and on hundreds of university campuses.  ZipCar’s model is to own, insure, and fuel its own vehicle fleet; users pay an annual membership fee and an hourly rental fee.  And, as long as there’s a ZipCar near you, you’re set. WhipCar, on the other hand, has a new model for car sharing.  Instead of investing in all the capital to make a car sharing service work, WhipCar has instead decided to rely on everyday car owners to supply its vehicle fleet.  That’s right, with WhipCar, you sign up for a service that gives you access to neighbors’ cars who’ve agreed to share them when they’re not in use.

WhipCar has partnered with insurance companies to cover the guest driver.  This insurance is in addition to the policy already associated with the vehicle.  WhipCar owners also set their own prices, so users may see a fair amount of variation within their own neighborhoods.  Once you’ve picked your car, you show up at an agreed-upon location with your booking number and driver’s license, and away you go!

So far, WhipCar is available only in London.

WhipCar

Car sharing services like ZipCar have proven quite successful, now available in most major cities and on hundreds of university campuses.  ZipCar’s model is to own, insure, and fuel its own vehicle fleet; users pay an annual membership fee and an hourly rental fee.  And, as long as there’s a ZipCar near you, you’re set. WhipCar, on the other hand, has a new model for car sharing.  Instead of investing in all the capital to make a car sharing service work, WhipCar has instead decided to rely on everyday car owners to supply its vehicle fleet.  That’s right, with WhipCar, you sign up for a service that gives you access to neighbors’ cars who’ve agreed to share them when they’re not in use.

WhipCar has partnered with insurance companies to cover the guest driver.  This insurance is in addition to the policy already associated with the vehicle.  WhipCar owners also set their own prices, so users may see a fair amount of variation within their own neighborhoods.  Once you’ve picked your car, you show up at an agreed-upon location with your booking number and driver’s license, and away you go!

So far, WhipCar is available only in London.