Last year, I wrote about the negative impact we were experiencing in Vancouver’s housing market that wasn’t aided by AirBnb and the sharing economy (read that article here). The appeal of short term rentals for homeowners was taking a number of otherwise available apartments off the market and driving the cost of long-term housing up due to the limited supply. There are many factors that contribute to the housing crisis in Vancouver, but I previously focused on the sharing economy’s effects.

Now, I never doubted that the growing trend of the sharing economy was overall beneficial to many, including AirBnb increasing competition in the accommodation space, but it’s nice to now have a good sharing economy experience to speak to – car sharing.

In Vancouver, we still don’t have Uber. Due to current regulations, it’s been an ongoing battle to bring the popular service to the city. As a result, car sharing has become much more prevalent in the city. There are 4 major services available in Vancouver: Modo, Car2Go, ZipCar and Evo.

In a city known for its expensive cost of living, if it’s possible to avoid the added expense of owning a vehicle but maintain affordable access to one when convenient, most people would take it. And they have.

My service of choice is Vancouver-based Evo. Being local, there’s an added level of trust in the business and with $2 annual fees, free gas and a pay-for-time model, it’s more affordable for short trips than taking a cab and more convenient than bussing.

Although car sharing isn’t a new phenomenon, it has grown in popularity in recent years. By 2024, the car sharing industry is expected to exceed $16.5 billion and “one shared car is likely to replace at least 4-8 privately owned cars” which will help alleviate traffic and pollution.

The sharing economy certainly has compelling benefits that have changed the way we travel and how we coexist within urban cities. Have you had experiences with car sharing? Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Kaila Joynes, Consultant