Driving is the most polluting activity most Vermonters undertake on a daily basis, accounting for nearly half of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, we’ve become so dependent on our cars that they’re the default choice for getting around, even when other modes are readily available and cost less. Not surprisingly, car ownership is the number one factor that contributes to all this driving—when people own a car, they tend to use it more than necessary out of habit.
The great news is that the arrival of car-sharing is shifting this pattern in a big way by giving people the choice to own fewer cars without limiting their freedom. It encourages folks to weigh their transportation options and choose the best mode for each trip; the sum result is that our members opt to drive less and walk, bike, and bus a lot more. And they report that the transition was much easier than they thought.
CarShare Vermont allows families to become one-car households; it helps others avoid buying a car all together; and it encourages employees of local businesses to use alternative ways to commute. Because car-sharing helps people become less car dependent, it leads to a major dip in car ownership. In fact, each shared car put into circulation is estimated to remove at least 10 from the road. Fewer cars and less driving mean less congestion, better air and water quality, smarter land use, reduced oil consumption, and a healthier community for everyone.