Aug 16, 2011
Andrew Budd

Car sharing – can we make it more appealing?

We are promoting smarter driving and car sharing this autumn. But how do we make it appeal to a wider audience? Having looked at other campaigns on the internet, my conclusion is that there are some pretty uninspiring campaigns and images out there. Who wants to see pictures of serious looking folk pretending to car share to work? Where’s the joy, where’s the fun, why would I want to join in? At least the Highways Agency image (above) has a sense of quirkiness, with large numbers of people squeezing into a small car.

In the Travel Plan Club our members have tried different approaches to get people sharing. At one end of the spectrum is linkage to a national database, registering your journeys, setting up blocks so that one only gets acceptable matches, and searching for possibilities. But people often don’t like such processes, and have concerns about strangers, no matter how re-assuring the website tries to be. At the other end of the spectrum is the informal “coffee-morning” approach where people meet other potential rides from people in their company, maybe using much simpler technology –  real cards on real noticeboards – or just meeting actual people!

Of course, both approaches and concerns are valid, and we have to mix and match to get as much take-up as possible. Meanwhile, just up the road, a weird and wacky approach is being tried, a welcome contast to some of the worthy-but-dull approaches found elswhere on the www. Have a look at http://www.sharecarsnotcake.com/news/ to see something being tried in Suffolk.

New approaches are always worth looking at, and we would welcome YOUR ideas.

 

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Cycle County Active County is the 7th annual event in the Cycle City series. It is the UK's established and premier networking event for public and private sector professionals tasked with enabling, implementing and improving provision for active travel.

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