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Public service approach to car-sharing in mid-sized towns: the example of Belfort (France)

Public service approach to car-sharing in mid-sized towns: the example of Belfort (France)

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Car-sharing (CS) is an alternative to private cars able to change mobility customs and to participate in the greenhouse gas emission reduction. The administration board of the Belfort bus operator decided in January 2013 to build-up a visible and attractive CS service following a public service idea and integrated into the urban mobility offer, with significantly higher vehicle density and vehicle/inhabitants ratio than in the other French cities. This innovative approach resulted in a remarkably high ratio of nearly 42 members/1000 inhabitants in December 2016. In 2015, the service totalled >2300 clients, 33,000 rentals and 1.5 million kilometres after only 2 years running. These figures confirm the hypothesis that CS can be rapidly developed as a veritable alternative even in mid-sized towns. This article focuses on the design elements of the Belfort CS service as well as first analyses based on 2015 data and problems encountered.

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