A new study on car sharing in North America - the first of its kind - found that the innovative transportation model enhances mobility and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Led by research group Innovative Mobility Research, out of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at UC Berkeley, the three-year study found that car sharing service car2go not only helped the environment but also improved mobility within cities, reported science, research and technology news site Phys.org.
The group looked specifically at one-way car sharing services - in which members can pick up a car at one location and drop it off in another - in five different cities.
"Our exhaustive, three-year research effort into one-way car sharing reveals that car2go vehicles result in fewer privately-owned vehicles on the road, fewer vehicle miles traveled and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," said Susan Shaheen, co-director of TSRC. "Participation from car2go and its members, the largest free-floating one-way car sharing service in North America, gave us unprecedented access and insight into how this kind of innovative mobility service is impacting North American cities."
According to Tech Crunch, motor vehicles are one of the worst culprits of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. And while public transportation and biking efforts have not helped reduce car ownership, the study found that car sharing has in fact proven to be an effective method for doing so.