Integration of Car-Sharing / MOSES project (Mobility Services for Urban Sustainability), Bremen, Germany

Type: GoodPractice

Case Study (722 KB PDF)

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Car-Sharing is a tool for sustainable and energy efficient urban development. It gives an alternative to car-ownership - and supplements the environmentally friendly modes of transport. It is a kind of 'mobility insurance' for cases when other modes are not sufficient. The integration into intermodal chains and into urban development is key factors of the further development. Within the moses project, the factors of growth are explored in real life.

This case study describes the experience of car sharing in Bremen from an environmentally orientated club of about 30 people in 1990 to a market-based company with more than ore than 3100 clients in 2003. This Bremen experience was successfully transferred to Belgium, which demonstrates the repeatability of car sharing.


The European dense city is a very energy and resource-efficient alternative to urban sprawl. But there is a common problem for urban life quality all over Europe: too many cars on the streets! This is not only a problem of congestion but also the lack of space for other functions of public space, like space for pedestrians and children, for cyclists, for greening etc. As parking is a very sensitive political issue, innovative solutions are necessary. So alternatives to the ownership of a car become a key element of mobility management - these measures as part of decoupling economic growth from transport growth.

The experience of well-prepared Car-Sharing shows that this innovative tool:

  • reduces the number of cars - as each Car-Sharing vehicle replaces 4 - 10 private cars. In Bremen, about 700 private cars have been replaced by Car-Sharing (3100 customers);
  • reduces the mileage driven by car - as the pay-as-you drive system is an incentive to drive less by car. The Bremen Car-Sharer show a reduction of about 5 million kilometres driven less by car (per year);
  • increases the use of Public Transport and other modes of environmentally friendly transport;
  • improves the environmentally quality of cities;
  • uses less polluting cars of better emission standards - and usually smaller cars.

Car-Sharing in Bremen is calculated in a life-cycle analysis to have- including the modal shift to environmentally friendly modes and replacing cars - a reduction of CO2-emissions actually of about 1.900 tons per year! This calculation does not yet include further indirect positive impacts - such as downsizing in the type of cars or the reduction in the field of car-infrastructure (e.g. for parking facilities).

The co-operation of Public Transport and Car-Sharing has made much progress. Several studies show that Car-Sharing is also an element of a good customer relationship management. Car-Sharers use more often and spend more for Public Transport.

Car-Sharing can also be used to reduce the provision of parking in new developments - or reduce the problems in the existing neighbourhoods. For new developments, which have good access to Public Transport, cycling facilities etc, Car-Sharing allows to save a lot of investment costs, which are otherwise, spent for a high level of parking provision.

Over all, it is a key element to make cities a good place to live in. Besides the direct positive impacts (less cars, less mileage driven by car, more use of PT, better cars), there are indirect positive impacts, which may cause in the long term view a much more intensive reduction of energy consumption.