The Increasing Development of Carsharing in France

The Increasing Development of Carsharing in France


M Floriet, Paris Local Authority, FR; R Clavel, CERTU, FR



Context :
To find credible alternatives to private cars, local authorities are developping new mobility services (carsharing, carpooling, demand responsive transport, etc). These services are flexible in terms of use (easy acess, etc) and represent a complement to regular public transport. In particular, carsharing means that a number of people share the use of several cars. Use of car is booked beforehand, the user paying a fee based on the distance driven and the length of time the car was made use of. It is a way to reduce the number of private cars, improve the environmental impact and make people?s mobility behaviour more rational. Carsharing fulfills a ponctual need of car and represent an economical advantage, compared with private car, if the user drive less than 10 000 km/year.

The paper will contain:

****** The presentation of the legislative context : The initiative ?Grenelle de l?Environnement? led by the Government will soon create a new law with in particular an aspect on carsharing : a definition of this service and his integration in Urban Travel Plans, a national label, the possibility for local authorities to allow parking bays on public space for carsharing vehicles.

****** A presentation of the survey led by CERTU : CERTU has led a survey among carsharing operators in France to have a panorama of the offer provided (number of vehicles, users, tariffing, etc). Since 2000, and particularly 2007, carsharing have grown substantially in main french towns. It appears that carsharing services are present in ninetheen towns (generally the biggest agglomerations) with different juridical status (private firms, public/private structures, associations, etc). The biggest services are in Paris which has created a label aiming at encouraging carsharing. From 2007 to 2008 the number of users of carsharing in France has increased by 60% to reach more than 9 000 subscribers.

****** Some examples of french carsharing services : Lyon, La Rochelle (electric vehicles), etc

****** Some elements of recommandations to develop carsharing at a national level : To develop carsharing, it?s necessary to improve marketing and communication (there is often a confusion with carpooling). Partnerships between carsharing operators and public transport operators play a key role to allow people to use these two services in complementarity. Besides, users of carsharing are mainly during the week-end for leisure purpose. Thus carsharing operators are more and more trying to extend their clients to firms which want to optimize their fleets and reduce their costs. Moreover, French National Program on Transportation has led studies on the potential of carsharing and demonstrated that this mode had a great potential, not only in the biggest towns, but also in average size towns.

****** A particular example with the car sharing initiatives of the city of Paris. The city of Paris has developed an accreditation scheme (?Label Autopartage Paris?) since February 2007. This accreditation scheme was a way for the City to support the operators through allocation of parking bays or communication on the concept. Moreover the City of Paris has led a survey among carsharing users in Paris to have a better knowledge of the environmental impact of carsharing. The City of Paris is now going further with the project Autolib which consists in creating in 2010 a carsharing service with 4 000 electric cars allowing one-way trips, like what is done with bikesharing services.


Association for European Transport