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Twenty years of car sharing: a case study on the city of Vancouver’s role in the growth of car sharing in Vancouver

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This thesis explores the City of Vancouver’s role in supporting the growth of car sharing in Vancouver from 1997 to 2016. In December 2016, Vancouver had the highest number of car share members and vehicles in a single city across North America. Using a mixed methods approach, City documents and interviews are used to assess the impact that City policies have had on the development of this mobility service. The research found that City policies, including the provision of permit and dedicated onstreet parking, parking incentives for new developments and incorporating car share vehicles into the City’s fleet have had the greatest impact in supporting car share growth in terms of members and usage. The thesis concludes that the City of Vancouver has strongly supported the growth of car sharing; however, given the absence of a broader car sharing planning framework, existing policies remain disconnected. City car share policies that were introduced in the 2000s should be updated to incorporate advances in technology: autonomous driving, fleet electrification, and ride sharing. More robust terms of measurement would also improve the City’s opportunity to leverage positive outcomes that car sharing brings, such as a reduction in private vehicle ownership and use.
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