LCI Blog: Need a Car or a Ride?

By Gretchen Krueger, Senior Counselor at LCI

New PictureIf you live in an urban area, undoubtedly you have seen or driven vehicles with City CarShare (LCI client) or Zipcar logos or did a double take when cars with large pink mustaches passed. Perhaps you’ve read about RelayRides or Lyft? What services do these companies provide? They are not all the same. Some of these companies have emerged in the last couple of years while others have been around for more than a decade. All aim to fulfill a market demand for more accessible transportation options.

Essentially these companies fall into one of three types of transportation options: carsharing, ridesharing or taxi services.

If you need access to a car on a regular basis and don’t have your own, then carsharing is for you. Carsharing is the round-trip use of vehicles for short periods of time paid for hourly and/or per mile. Drivers are members of the organization who access various types of unstaffed locations at self-service vehicles on an as-needed basis without the cost and responsibility of ownership. Car sharing organizations around the Bay Area and world include: City CarShare, Zipcar, Car2Go, WeCar and others.

Companies like RelayRides fall into the category of ridesharing. With RelayRides, individual car owners can list their vehicles, and those that need a ride can rent one by the hour or day. Lyft and Uber on the other hand are really just taxi services, where a driver picks up passengers and drops them off at their destination.

Whether you need a car or just a lift, recent study finds that carsharing will continue to grow in urban areas. The study finds that by 2020, the total carsharing and ridesharing number of members is expected to reach 9.0 million in North America. Are you a member of a carsharing organization like City Carshare or using Uber to get around?

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2 Comments

  1. david Reply

    Gretchen, thanks for the clarity on this subject – for newbies, it’s hard to understand the lingo. And thanks for the shout-out to our client, City CarShare. Cheers, David

  2. Alessandra Malvermi Reply

    Gretchen, nice article. Car-sharing is a great tool for sustainable and energy efficient urban development!