Understand cities' markets and customer bases to define a tailored service and increase the utilization rates of carsharing and new mobility services.
Best practices for launching new mobility services and scaling business models to achieve maximum profitability.
Made Public Date


United States

Reinventing carsharing as a modern (and profitable) service


Over the past decade, shared mobility services such as ridesharing, ridesourcing, and carsharing services have proliferated in many urban areas. By providing on-demand, point-to-point mobility, these shared services represent attractive alternatives to car ownership. This white paper, authored by software company Ridecell, examines:
  • Vehicle utilization in new mobility services and techniques to achieve highest utilization rates
  • Requirements to launch a new mobility service offering, including end-to-end workflow, dispatch, scheduling, balancing supply/demand, and payments
  • Strategies to prepare for an autonomous future
  • Lessons learned from launching car sharing programs in the US market.

Lessons Learned

The paper presents several best practices and lessons learned for launching a successful carsharing or new mobility service, including:

  • Understand the market and customer base to define a tailored service. The first step for any carsharing operator is to understand their market and to define a service offering that will appeal to their customer base. They’ll need to build partnerships with civic organizations, telecom carriers, auto Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and insurance companies. When choosing where to launch their new mobility projects, service providers should take into account a city’s culture, lifestyle, technology adoption attitudes, and regulatory challenges.
  • Engage in rapid experimentation. In the burgeoning mobility-as-a-service market, operators need to be willing to experiment, to learn, and to respond quickly. By adding features, such as faster on-boarding or personalized vehicle settings, transportation innovators are learning what’s important to their audiences, while helping their businesses grow in all the right ways.
  • Collaborate with other service providers. By cooperating with other service providers in an agency model, service operators can offer consumers better coverage and a better experience without having to manage an unwieldy fleet. If another provider has a car that’s closer to the consumer, the consumer is offered a more convenient option and the primary service operator gains a satisfied customer.
  • Offer multiservice fleets. The demand curves for carsharing and ridesharing services differ significantly based on time of day, indicating the efficiencies of using a single fleet to deliver multiple services. By pairing, for example, a ridesharing service with a free-floating carsharing service (which allows one-way rides), operators can double the typical single-service utilization rate—boosting utilization from about 15 percent to beyond 30 percent.
  • Optimize operations with predictive fleet management. Operators can achieve greater operational efficiencies through predictive fleet management—predicting vehicle service requirements and determining the best times to take them out of service. Vehicles can be cleaned or repaired only when they would not have been utilized.

Reinventing carsharing as a modern (and profitable) service

Reinventing carsharing as a modern (and profitable) service
Publication Sort Date
Thomas, M. and D. Tiku
ITS America Annual Meeting 2018

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Goal Areas

Focus Areas Taxonomy: