Vancouver Crowned as Car-Sharing Capital of North America

There are 4.22 car-share vehicles per 1,000 people in the city of Vancouver.

byDave Bartosiak| UPDATED Jan 26, 2018 4:55 PM
Vancouver Crowned as Car-Sharing Capital of North America

When I think Canada I think about beautiful wide open spaces, hockey and cold weather. I don’t think car-sharing but apparently, one Canadian city has more car-sharing services than any other city in North America. According to a study by Vancity, Vancouver is, in fact, the car-sharing capital of North America, featuring more cars to share per capita than any other on the continent.

There are 3,000 vehicles available for you to rent in Vancouver. That’s larger than fleets in U.S. cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon. Its 4.22 car-share vehicles per 1,000 people are more than you’ll find in Milan or Berlin. In some neighborhoods close to downtown Vancouver, as many as 5 percent of all moving autos on the roads are car-share vehicles.

Vancity conducted their Vancouver car-sharing study by interviewing more than 4,000 car-share members in the city. They found that one in three joined a car-share program in the last 12 months, while two in three had joined in the last two years. More than half of the respondents belong to two or more car-sharing programs. The overwhelming reason for their car-share use was convenience. Saving money and concern for the environment were also two big factors.

Primary reasons for using car-sharing based on age, Vancity

The city of Vancouver offers up a few perks for the car-sharing community, which helps to spur adoption. They allow car-share vehicles to use permit-only parking spaces throughout the city. They also encourage car-sharing in new developments by dropping the number of required parking spaces developers have to include if they have a car-sharing service nearby.

The two main car-sharing models being used in Vancouver are the round-trip or two-way station-based car-sharing and the free-floating car-sharing. Modo and Zipcar use the round-trip model while car2go and Evo use the free-floating model. Free-floating car-sharing allows users to pick up and leave cars anywhere within the operator’s service area or home area.

The Vancity report is 17 pages long and full of useful insights. It’s worth a few minutes to check out if you have the time.