The Benefits of Car Sharing for Cities

Let's take a look at the ways a city can benefit when it offers a car share service for its residents. 

Fewer Cars, More Parking
Cars are parked approximately 95 percent of the time. What does this mean in a populated area? Lots and lots of parked cars! When a city has a variety of transportation options available for their residents, it cuts down on the number of cars parked on the streets. Car sharing may be part of that solution. That’s a win for the city and a win for the residents. 

Fewer Cars, Less Traffic
You can’t deny the math — fewer cars on the road means less traffic. Our time is precious, and every minute spent in slow-moving traffic is a minute we could be doing something we want to be doing! Traffic affects our happiness. According to a study done by Georgia Tech Library SMARTech, “ was found for each 15 percent increase in traffic (i.e. 5 mph slower) there was a 1.5 percent decrease in a person's happiness.” (source: In addition to the human consideration, reduced traffic is healthier for cities and the overall air quality. There’s also less wear and tear on the roads. All around, reduced traffic has huge benefits for cities. 

Affordable Mobility for Residents
Owning a car can be expensive. Some city residents may not be able to afford to own a personal vehicle and may rely on public transportation and other alternative means of mobility. Some people may not feel like it is practical to own a vehicle, especially in densely populated areas where parking is challenging. Car sharing is an excellent option for those who want control over their transportation schedules, but don’t want or need a full-time personal vehicle. Public transportation is invaluable, but alternative modes of mobility are also needed. Car sharing can help expand mobility options in a range of communities.   

Reduced Emissions
Car sharing is effective when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. When we have better transportation choices — car sharing, electric vehicles, better public transportation, and more car alternatives (like the popular ebike!) — we can make a difference when it comes to the environment.

It’s important to note here that ride hailing services can actually increase pollution. For instance, when a driver is “deadheading” (cruising the streets waiting for a ride request), they can generate more carbon emissions than when you drive yourself (like you do with a Gig!). A recent analysis by state air quality regulators has found that 40% of the miles logged by two top ride hailing companies is considered deadheading.

Gig’s Impact
In our first five years, we’ve put more than 1,000 hybrid and electric cars on the streets for our Members to share. In this time, our Members have driven 40 million miles across more than 2 million trips.

One study found that each free-floating, one-way carsharing vehicle removed 7 to 11 vehicles on average from the road in the cities studied.*  

Learn more about Gig’s impact by watching our 5 Year Anniversary Video here

*This study, Carsharing’s Impact and Future, studied free-floating one-way carsharing members across five cities in the U.S. and Canada, and included four business models:  1) business  to  consumer  (B2C);  2)  business  to  government  (B2G);  3)  business  to  business (B2B); and 4) peer-to-peer (P2P).  

Learn more about the cities where you can find GIG Car Share
GIG Car Share in the San Francisco Bay Area
GIG Car Share in Seattle

*Operations will discontinue in the Sacramento HomeZone on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

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