An independent study has found that, unless action is taken soon, the number of privately owned vehicles in Melbourne will grow by almost 50% by 2021, creating unprecedented congestion, poor quality of life and a damaged economy. The report, prepared by Philip Boyle & Associates, a leading public transportation consultant, concluded that carshare, the use of a single vehicle by many residents, is virtually the only solution to this problem.  The study commissioned by the City of Melbourne also found that if carsharing services, such as those provided by GoGet, are widely implemented they will deliver $45 million in net economic benefit by 2021, including a significant improvement of local shopping and public health. The researchers were unambiguous in the importance of carshare for the future of transport in City of Melbourne: “[Carshare] is the single most effective way of reducing the future residential vehicle fleet and vehicle kilometres travelled in private cars.” graph 1

Melbourne Traffic Jam Cars

Melbourne Australia- October 12,2013: Weekend heavy traffic on M1 Freeway in Melbourne Australia

Increasingly congested cities are not only a nuisance for residents and businesses, they are productivity killers. As the number of resident-owned vehicles increases, the report concludes, productivity decreases, impacting economic growth. For this reason, the researchers argue that “the target car share network size should be sufficient to avoid an increase in the resident vehicle fleet between 2011 and 2021.” While there has been some disagreement among councils as to the role carshare plays as a transport option, the report argues that carshare is a form of public transport, similar to rail and buses, and the City needs to cooperate “with service providers in a similar manner to how it works with other public transport providers.”  This means that the City must maximise community benefit by seeking “widespread access to the service for all residents” and not impose “any levies.” The report concludes that the City of Melbourne should adopt a policy that will “achieve a net zero increase in the residential car fleet.”  The report’s findings are thought to lay behind the City’s recent decision to push for carsharing’s rapid expansion as an essential public transport option.  Melbourne has now committed to enrolling 30% of the population in a carshare service by 2021, making its target the most ambitious of any Australian city. graph 2 The report also finds:

  1. The number of vehicle kilometres travelled in the City has been reduced by 4 million km per annum because of the existence of carshare
  2. Ten years ago carshare was a speculative startup; today thousands of residents “rely on the carshare services”
  3. Public and private value from current carsharing levels equals a benefit of $13 million per year for the City of Melbourne
  4. Carshare has improved liveability in Melbourne by:
    1. Reducing road congestion
    2. Making car spaces easier and cheaper to find
    3. Allowing the City to make better use of open space
    4. Increasing public health and local economies
  5. Without carshare, the number of private cars owned by residents in the City of Melbourne will double by 2021
  6. If the City of Melbourne does not find and implement more effective responses like carshare, the residential vehicle fleet will continue to grow and the City will be faced with more severe storage, parking and road space problems
  7. Carshare use cuts household transport budgets substantially and 80% of this surplus is spent in the local economy; people with lower motor vehicle use are also more likely to shop locally
  8. For every one dollar spent by the City of Melbourne, carshare delivers $3.40 worth of benefits
  9. Popular support for carshare is pronounced, “in particular, the potential for carshare to complement public transport, cycling and walking without resulting car ownership was seen as a significant benefit.”
  10. Carshare benefits public health. Research shows that on average each carshare user walks or cycles for an additional 10 minutes each day

  To learn more about carshare visit