Car-sharing is part of the County’s Master Transportation Plan and supports its goals of complementing and extending the reach of transit and other travel options such as biking and walking, alleviating parking and traffic congestion, reducing greenhouse gases and particulate emissions, reducing personal vehicle ownership and household transportation costs, and increasing travel convenience and accessibility.
More information on car-sharing in Arlington can be found on the Commuter Page.
In December 2016, the County Board authorized a new ordinance related to car-sharing (Chapter 14.2 of the Arlington County Code), ensuring a competitive procurement of car-share services, and establishing permits, fees and enforcement procedures for authorized car-share vehicles.
Based on this ordinance, the County Manager and staff are establishing programs for two types of car-share service in Arlington’s public right of way:
- Reserved-space car-share
- Free-floating car-share
Reserved-Space Car-Share Program
Suggest a car-share parking station location
We are seeking feedback on the potential placement of reserved-space car-share parking stations in Arlington. Suggest a location using our interactive map, or take a short survey to provide your opinion on the potential on-street location network.
Note: The interactive map shows a street network that has been adjusted to reduce the potential for right-of-way conflicts. You need to zoom into the map to see the street network. Streets available for a reserved-space car-share parking station location are BLUE, while streets with a high potential for conflict that are unavailable at this time for a station location are PINK.
Free-Floating Car-Share Program
In this system, trips start and end in different locations. Since 2015, car2go has been providing free-floating car-share service in Arlington as part of a demonstration study. In December 2016, the County Board authorized an extension of the study with car2go for up to 12 additional months.
The 12-month extension will allow staff to continue to learn from car2go’s performance data and community feedback while developing a competitive procurement for this service consistent with the County’s new car-share ordinance.
The design of a free-floating car-share program will be initiated in summer 2017.
Cost Analysis: Car-Share vs. Private Car Ownership
While the County moves forward with the design of a free-floating and reserved-space car-share program, potential impacts on the community and household level need to be evaluated to guide County staff and residents’ decisionmaking processes. As a first step, Arlington County staff analyzed potential costs associated with private vehicle ownership and car-share usage on a household level.
Car-sharing, in general, provides some of the benefits of private vehicle ownership but without the upfront costs of owning a private vehicle. However, the costs associated with either using car-share or owning a private vehicle differ greatly and depend, amongst others, on the type of vehicle owned or car-share service used, as well as on the average vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per year. To provide some insights into potential household level costs, Arlington County staff analyzed and compared different car ownership and car-share usage scenarios specific to Arlington.
- Under 2,000 VMT annually, car-share appears the most economically efficient on a household level.
- Over 6,000 VMT annually, car ownership is, in almost all cases, economically more efficient than car-share.
- Car-share services are best used as regular first-last-mile connectors and for infrequent trip taking.
- Arlington residents owning more than one vehicle or considering buying their first vehicle are most likely to realize considerable savings by using car-share.