When what's mine isn't yours in collaborative consumption: the politics of parking for car sharing cars

Jennifer Kent, Robyn Dowling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Car sharing is an emerging transportation industry in which drivers access a fleet of shared vehicles for short-term use. Car sharing programs have demonstrated success in reducing private car ownership and kilometres travelled by private car and shared vehicle use is increasingly positioned as a useful tool for cities seeking to transition away from private car dependency. For a number of reasons, car sharing's success is dependent on the provision of fixed and reserved car parking space. Allocated parking space works to provide consistency and reliability in the location of the act of transfer where the car is conferred from one user to the next. The reservation of parking space for the car share car delineates the structure of a car sharing network and determines its ability to offer a service to car sharers. Furthermore, the allocation of space sends a strong message of regulatory support for a sustainable transport mode, relieving car sharing organisations of the need to invest in parking, and contributing to the financial viability of the car sharing business, particularly in the start-up phase. This paper first presents a review of car parking policy for car sharing in Sydney, Australia. We show how parking for car sharing is governed at the scale of the municipality and detail the emergence of several different approaches to the provision of car sharing parking, with parking-related policy used to both restrict and encourage the use of shared cars. We then position these policies within the findings of a series of in depth interviews carried out with Sydney car sharers who recount their practical experiences of the way car parking makes car sharing work. The ability to park a car close to home is identified as a key motivator for the uptake of car sharing in areas where on street parking is constrained and private off street parking unavailable. Non-car sharing cars parking illegally in designated car sharing parking space is consistently cited as a key complaint, with car sharer's indicating that a lack of parking enforcement detracts considerably from car sharing's appeal. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations for policy, and implications for emergent car sharing models.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 ATRF papers
Place of PublicationSydney, New South Wales
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAustralasian transport research forum (37th : 2015) - Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 30 Sept 20152 Oct 2015


ConferenceAustralasian transport research forum (37th : 2015)
CitySydney, New South Wales


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