Car sharing in Wellington, New Zealand: Benefits and barriers
Sprawling urban development and high levels of car dependency in New Zealand have resulted in a range of adverse impacts, including increased greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Car sharing can support compact development and sustainable transport patterns by providing a potential alternative to car ownership. Despite the increasing popularity of car sharing overseas, it is still in the early stages of development in New Zealand. There is a growing body of international literature about car sharing; however, very little has been written about car sharing in the New Zealand context. This thesis contributes to the literature by exploring car sharing in Wellington. This study has adopted a mixed method approach, surveying Wellington residents about car sharing and interviewing car share stakeholders. The findings from this research indicate that car sharing is a transport innovation which offers Wellington significant benefits. Perhaps most importantly, car sharing can reduce car ownership and usage, which in turn can help reduce congestion, demand for parking and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, this study provides evidence that the people most interested in car sharing in Wellington have similar characteristics to car share members overseas. This includes younger people, apartment dwellers, households without children, and people who use a car occasionally but do not necessarily own one. This thesis also highlights that car sharing is complementary to alternative modes of transport, and underlines the close connection between car sharing and modern technologies such as automated booking. The findings from this research indicate that car share providers face a range of barriers, including access to public parking and financial assistance. Progress has already been made to remove barriers facing car sharing but more support for car sharing could allow Wellington to take full advantage of its benefits.