Exploring the process of travel behaviour change and mobility trajectories associated with car share adoption

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Abstract

Car sharing as a mobility option is proliferating in many countries. International research on car sharing has been mostly quantitative, focused primarily on impacts in terms of net cars sold or car kilometres reduced. This study explores the process of travel behaviour change associated with car share adoption and how it varies among individuals. Qualitative methods were used to investigate how lifestyle, mobility and travel choices change in response to car sharing. Focus groups (n = 5 groups) and semi-structured interviews (n = 8) were conducted with car share members in inner and middle Melbourne, Australia. In most cases, availability of car share was reported to enable and facilitate changes in travel behaviour rather than causing or initiating them. Reconsideration of car ownership was usually triggered by key life events or long-term mobility decisions (e.g. residential relocation). Car sharers were classified into five user segments depending on their mobility trajectories post joining car share: car dependents, car avoiders, car limiters, car aspirers and car sellers. Car aspirers and car sellers reported the biggest changes in car ownership and travel choices (use of a car, public transport and active modes). Car avoiders and car limiters used car share to withstand mobility stress caused by key life events. The study highlights the value of a disaggregated understanding of car share impacts. It provides specific, practical insights that will be useful for tailoring policy, plans, and marketing measures to encourage the use of car share as a lever to limit car ownership and use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
JournalTravel Behaviour and Society
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Car ownership
  • Carsharing
  • Impact
  • Life events
  • Travel behaviour

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