Carsharing combines increased accessibility to public transportation and the flexibility and independence of the private automobile. The CarLink research project is a public/private partnership investigating the development and implementation of "smart" technology combined with a commuter-based carsharing model. CarLink has the potential of offering a new modal alternative for metropolitan areas. CarLink II was developed after evaluating the first CarLink demonstration, and by reviewing other carsharing organizations in the United States and Europe. This carsharing program provides a link to transit for commuters and reverse commuters. The goal of the program is to reach people currently not taking transit regularly because of difficult or timely transit connections, or for individuals who require a vehicle during the day.
Each workday morning, CarLink vehicles are driven from users' homes to a transit station and parked. Then, a second group of travelers arrives via train at the same transit station and use the cars to carpool to their employment location. During the day, the vehicles are made available to additional CarLink participants at the job site for short-term trips for business or personal use. After work, this process is reversed. The day use component of a commuter-based carsharing model is critical to its success. In order for this type of program to be economically feasible, the vehicles need to be operational throughout the day.
CarLink II is a research project continuing to investigate the concept of carsharing for commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area. The CarLink team has funding secured to extend this project into a "pilot" program. As opposed to a demonstration project, this pilot program will be designed to have the ability to continue operating after the initial research phase of 12 months. The Project Partners currently include Honda, Caltrans, PATH, UC Davis and RIDES for Bay Area Commuters. The transit partner and work location partners will be determined by the ultimate location of CarLink. CarLink is in the process of assessing the potential for carsharing near the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station area as well as other work locations in the Silicon Valley.
CarLink II Program Features CarLink II includes the following features: 27 Honda Civic conventional gasoline automobiles; a new (prototype) smart carsharing system to collect data, track automobiles, and allow quick customer vehicle access; a job site location representative of commuters in the area; and an evaluation of the economic feasibility of carsharing in the San Francisco Bay Area. The actual pilot portion of this project (employees driving the vehicles) will last for 12 months. It is anticipated that the field test will begin January 2001. The CarLink pilot will be supported by staff working closely with the chosen transit agency and companies to ensure that the program meets the transportation needs of the employees.
Participants for the pilot program are being sought. Companies interested in learning more about CarLink II or who desire to be considered as pilot program participants may reach the program using the contact information below.
Lind Novick CarLink II Project Manager Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616-8762 (530) 752-1934 phone (530) 752-6572 fax email@example.com e-mail Hacienda Owners Association 4473 Willow Road, Suite 105, Pleasanton, California 94588-8570 (925) 734-6500 phone (925) 734-6501 fax firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail www.hacienda.org WWW