Catch a Car: Mobility’s Free Floating Car Sharing Pilot

Mobility's catch-a-car free floating car-share pilot

Scrolling back to August of 2014, a car-sharing pilot called “Catch a Car” was launched by Mobility in Basel, Switzerland. As the city’s first free-floating car-share program, this project allowed for careful study of how free-floating car-sharing would affect local individual travel behaviour.

Two surveys were conducted shortly after the launch in  November/December 2014 and in April/May 2015, and consisted of a questionnaire, capturing insights as a “mobility diary” and asking general socio-demographic questions. Lastly, a survey was repeated with the same participants in November/December 2015, offering promising insights into the first free-floating car-share program in Basel.

The findings: half of Catch a Car’s members are between the ages of 18 and 36 years old. They are individuals who describe themselves as “open to innovations” and do not consider privately-owned vehicles as a status symbol.

Half of Catch a Car’s members are also members of Mobility Carsharing, and the majority of uses were shorter trips for the purposes of shopping, airport transport, visiting friends and the like. While 50% of Catch a Car’s trips were made spontaneously, the other half were initiated as the fastest connection between point A and B.

Since the members of Catch a Car use public transportation more frequently than average, it is suggested that many members consider Catch a Car as the meeting point between public transportation and private-car mobility.

The results of the study suggest that Catch a Car allows members to significantly reduce private car ownership, creating a net reduction of 363 cars by March, 2016 when considering the number of Catch a Car members. This can also be measured in the annual reduction of car-use by 560’000 km which translates into an annual savings of 45’000 l gasoline or 104 t CO2.

While these studies only represent a short period and initial customer usage patterns and environmental impacts, the observed effects show that Catch a Car complements the existing transportation system in Basel and offers an affordable alternative to interurban travel.

The author of this study is Francesco Ciari from ETH Zurich.

If you are interested in these findings or want to discuss more, please contact us here.

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