Practice and public-private partnerships in sustainable transport governance: The case of car sharing in Sydney, Australia

Robyn Dowling*, Jennifer Kent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past two decades car sharing has become a mainstream transportation mode for over a million users worldwide with organisations now operating in more than 1100 cities across 26 countries and on five continents. Car sharing has developed alongside significant intellectual currents exploring the attributes and effectiveness of the diverse strands of transport policy. These debates include the efficacy of behaviour change programmes to shift transport practice, the imprints of neoliberalism on transport policy, and the withdrawal of the state as active agent in shaping policy privatisation. Despite its emergence amid these debates, car sharing has largely escaped their due consideration. This paper brings car sharing and transport policy scholarship into explicit conversation. It suggests that thinking car sharing through the broader lens of transport policy can produce a richer understanding of why car sharing works, and demonstrates that the case of car sharing sheds unique light onto key contemporary debates in transport policy. We present empirical data from an in depth content analysis of car sharing policy in Sydney, Australia. This data is used to explore the ways transport policy can, and does, facilitate successful car sharing. We draw upon two key theoretical frameworks to explain this success-practice theory and public-private partnerships. We conclude with a discussion of the way this unique analysis contributes to ongoing debates about the broader contours of transport governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalTransport Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • Car sharing
  • Parking policy
  • Practice theory
  • Public-private partnership
  • Transport governance


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