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. Taking into consideration residents’ feedback and data gathered during the study, Arlington County has designed a permanent free-floating car-share program. On Feb. 2, 2018, the County invited contractors to bid to participate in the program. For more details on the procurement, visit eVA.
The program will allow Arlington staff to make adjustments to the scope of work on an annual basis, if necessary, using ongoing data analyses and resident feedback. Feel free to contact staff at email@example.com and share your ideas and thoughts throughout the program’s implementation.
- Number of contractors: Maximum allowed = 3
- Only one free-floating service provider (car2go) is currently operational in the United States on a national level, but our program is open to as many as three service providers to support competition and high quality service for the community.
- Fleet size: Initial maximum allowed fleet per contractor = up to 100 vehicles
- Throughout the contract period, contractors may be allowed, upon approval of Arlington County, to increase their fleet size in increments of up to 50 vehicles, with their total fleet size not to exceed 250 vehicles.
- The contractors will pay for access to curb space in residential and metered zones. The program requires the purchase of a car-share parking sticker to be paid by authorized car-share contractors. The sticker shows authorization of a car-share vehicle to park at a meter without payment at the time of parking and in residential parking permit zones without displaying a zone specific permit.
- The contractor(s) also will pay an administrative fee to cover the County’s costs of administering the program. The fee will be divided by the number of car-sharing contractors operational in Arlington.
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’ decision-making 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.