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Chapter 1 Introduction Pasadena and downtown. In contrast, car-sharing has expanded far more rapidly in communities where transit, walking and cycling play a great role. As documented in Chapter 3, the availability of alternatives to the private automobile, reflected through overall vehicle ownership levels, is one of the most important predictors of where car-sharing can succeed. Other critical questions that have still to be fully resolved relate to how car- sharing succeeds, and the public benefits that it brings. What potential does it have to change travel behavior, vehicle ownership patterns, and household transportation expenditure? To what types of markets does car-sharing ap- peal, and in what types of neighborhoods does it succeed? How can public agencies and other organizations foster the development of car-sharing, and use it to accomplish their goals? 1.2Research Approach Unlike most transit agencies, which are the subject of the vast majority of TCRP research, car-sharing in North America is a competitive industry. This competitive nature has important implications for this research, because much of the detailed information on member characteristics, technology and operational performance is considered proprietary by car-sharing op- erators. Partly for this reason, and partly because operators are far ahead of public agencies and other partners on the car-sharing learning curve, this report does not attempt to provide a detailed manual on how to start up and operate car-sharing services.1 Instead, the study focuses on the role of partner organizations transit agencies, local governments, regional planning agencies, employers and businesses, developers, universities and others with an interest in promot- ing the development of car-sharing. The report aims to provide them with an understanding of how car-sharing can contribute towards their goals, how they can contribute to its success, and how they can evaluate its per- formance. The findings in this report are based on a variety of research methodologies: An extensive literature review, documented in the annotated bibli- ography provided in Appendix A A web-based survey of car-sharing members, discussed in Chap- ters 3 and 4 1. For information on start-up and operational issues, please refer to Brook (2004) or City CarShare (2005). Page September 2005 1-2