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Interest in Carsharing and Car Subscription Services Quadruples Amid COVID-19

| November 12, 2020

Survey data reveals in a post-pandemic world, Americans prefer short-term access to cars over public transport or ridesharing

New data from a survey conducted in late September 2020 by mobility company Ridecell Inc. reveals significant changes in transportation preferences in the US amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-two percent of respondents have changed their preferences for transportation, including expressing a rising interest in carsharing and car subscription services. Though personal car ownership remains most common among Americans, a desire to use carsharing and car subscription services quadrupled from 5% to 20%. Prior to COVID-19, 22% of respondents used either public transport or ridesharing; today, those numbers have dropped to 9%.

When asked which modes of transportation individuals were most likely to use following the pandemic, carsharing ranked higher than public transport, ridesharing, car rental, carpooling and micromobility options. More than two-thirds of individuals who relied on public transportation prior to COVID-19 expressed interest in access to short term vehicle usage, with 57% saying they would use this option weekly or monthly.

“Carsharing is a fantastic option, especially while we work to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 because it allows individuals the freedom of mobility without the concern of sharing close spaces with others,” said Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of Ridecell. “Carsharing also offers a great alternative to the expense and upkeep required by car ownership, especially now that people are commuting and traveling less. Technology advancements have made it easier for fleet owners to provide a wide range of sharing options—from hours to months at a time. Reductions in overall traffic and parking have allowed local governments to accelerate building the necessary infrastructure to support carsharing services.”

Car sharing operators, like GIG Car Share, powered by AAA Northern California, are noting a rebound in usage. “We are adapting to the emerging needs of the communities we serve, evolving the service we provide, and maintaining our commitment to providing a more convenient, affordable, and safe mobility option,” said Jason Haight, President of GIG Car Share. “Gig’s own survey recently showed that 7 out of 8 Members feel safer using Gig compared to other mobility options like ride-hailing services.”

Of all respondents in Ridecell’s survey, 63% now drive less following the pandemic, highlighting a broader trend that car ownership is less of a priority. Fifty-eight percent of individuals expressed a preference for short-term vehicle usage options, with 28% saying they would use the service weekly, 21% monthly, and 15% indicating they would use it every day. 

For those individuals already using shared mobility, including ridesharing, carsharing, and micromobility, 75% are interested in short term vehicle service, with 64% saying they would use it weekly or monthly. Perhaps more surprising, more than half (54%) of car owners and lessees also wanted the option for short term vehicle use, with 45% saying they would use this option weekly. 

Over 1,000 adult respondents across the US contributed to the survey, commissioned by Ridecell. Ridecell offers the world’s only end-to-end platform for all types of mobility, including digital sales, private leases, short-term subscriptions, digital access to commercial fleets, and shared mobility for consumers. 

Category: Driver Stuff, Featured, General Update, News, Vehicles

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