Here at City Lines I enjoy talking about some of the new paradigms that are arising in our society because the financial crisis, that we are still suffering, is a great opportunity to reflect on this type of issues. One of those paradigms that we are living is the one related with property.
The strongest example about the property crisis could be related with Cloud Computing. The new technologies are going through a new path where the consumer will have the use rights of the servers, software, hardware, contents, etc, but not the property rights of them.
As in the Cloud Computing example, transport is also facing the challenge of carsharing and carpooling policies as part of this property paradigm changes. As I try to analyze it, these new transport policies have several positive impacts into the economic, social and environmental criteria.
For instance, economically, if we share our cars, we will use them more efficiently, because they wouldn’t require so much “parking” time as they do now. Economically, as well, if you manage a great amount of cars you have a better bargaining power to obtain better prices or, alternatively, to have better technologies that will go on the direction of having a better environment.
Environmentally, managing a great car fleet also means that you can change them sooner and through that you can have the best environmental technologies. These car fleets also allow to program car replacements, which is a way to stabilize the car market. These can also be a good social criterion, because you can also stabilize the car labour market. Talking about social criteria, you can also say that sharing cars you, individually, can be more flexible if you have to change your place from a city to the countryside or vice versa.
I think that all these criteria are good to start a discussion about using or owning a car, but we have to be conscious about one last question, which is that when we are resigning to property, we are renouncing to the decision rights upon that good. So, for a good carsharing policy it is necessary that customers have a discount on the price of the service (use of cars) that will make it attractive to use them instead of to own them.
Well, I think that if you live in a rented flat you will understand it perfectly.