A Framework for Testing Innovative Transportation Solutions: A Case Study of CarLink--A Commuter Carhsaring Program

Transportation Research Record Journal of the Transportation Research Board (Impact Factor: 0.54). 01/2004; 1927(25877). DOI: 10.3141/1927-17
Source: RePEc


Transit accounts for just two percent of total travel in the U.S. One reason for low ridership is limited access; many individuals either live or work too far from a transit station. In developing transit connectivity solutions, researchers often employ a range of study instruments, such as stated-preference surveys, focus groups, and pilot programs. To better understand response to one innovative transit solution, the authors employed a number of research tools, including: a longitudinal survey, field test, and pilot program. The innovation examined was a commuter carsharing model, called CarLink, which linked short-term rental vehicles to transit and employment centers. Over several years, researchers explored user response to the CarLink concept, a field operational test (CarLink I), a pilot program (CarLink II), and a commercial operation (the pilot was turned over to Flexcar in summer 2002). This multi-staged approach provided an opportunity for researchers to learn and adapt as each phase progressed. In this paper, the authors outline the CarLink model, technology, and early lessons learned; describe CarLink II operational understanding; provide a synopsis of the pilot program transition; and offer recommendations for future model development.

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    • "Twelve compressed natural gas (CNG) Honda Civics were available to drive between the BART station and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). CarLink II followed this project and was based at the Caltrain station in Palo Alto, California from July 2001 to June 2002 with approximately 100 users and 27 Honda Civics (Shaheen and Novick 2005). The CarLink program facilitated one-way trips between train stations and home-and work-based trips. "
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    • "Eleven percent of Homebased Users and five percent of Workbased Users (Workbased Commuters and Day Users) sold a personal vehicle or put it in storage. Further details on the CarLink program are provided in [8] [9] "
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