Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I Believe That Carsharing Is The Future

Not everywhere, of course, but in urban hellholes where cars are still useful things but where significant numbers of people don't use a car for a daily commute they both provide both direct benefits to their customers and indirect benefits by taking cars of the roads. Cars take up a lot of space, and reducing their numbers in urban hellholes, preferably with carrots rather than sticks, should be a policy goal.

So I do think they should be thought about as a serious policy issue. Should for profit carsharing firms, for example, be allowed to have reserved on street spots? I think yes, but also think that there should be well thought out conditions for such arrangements. Personally I have not thought out what those conditions should be, but obviously just letting anyone incorporate as a carsharing firm and grabbing city parking spots wouldn't be optimal.

A regulated monopoly would be justified if there were significant economies of scale. I'm not sure it's desirable or necessary, though allowing regulated competition with interoperability between companies mandated might be. Perhaps a common membership fee, with individual firms competing otherwise (price/availability/etc).

Anyway, I haven't thought this through in detail, but, yes, urban hellhole policymakers should think these things through.