Car Sharing: The Next Big Thing in Traffic-Clogged Mexico City?
Lauren Villagran - The Christian Science Monitor
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June 3, 2013
Carrot is the country's first car share initiative with 8,500 members in Mexico City. (carrotmx)
Residents of this traffic-clogged capital warmed quickly to the city’s bike-share program, Ecobici. Now a new effort called Carrot wants people to share cars, as well.
Mexico City public transportation has improved enormously over the past decade, with the addition of bus rapid transit, a new metro line, bike lanes, and Ecobici. But the city sprawls in every direction, and public transport isn’t always close or convenient. Many who can afford it own a car (or two).
Diego Solorzano, a young entrepreneur, launched Carrot last June as an alternative, something “in between public transport and private transport,” he says.
Although it may sound counterintuitive, putting shared cars on the road keeps greater numbers of private cars off of it, Mr. Solorzano says.
Every shared car takes 15 autos out of traffic, according to 2009 research in North American cities by Frost & Sullivan, a global business consulting firm. Drivers who belong to car-share programs drive about 30 percent less than when they owned a personal vehicle.
Inspired by Zip Car and similar projects in Europe, Carrot is the first car-share enterprise in Mexico. From just three cars, the program has grown to 40 vehicles – with the Nissan March and Leaf models and the Xtrail SUVs, being the most energy efficient vehicles sold in Mexico – and has signed up 8,500 members.
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