AECOM predicts up to 9,000 carshare vehicles could remove 90,000 private vehicles from Sydney by 2036.

SYDNEY (October 25, 2016) — Up to 90,000 fewer cars could be on Sydney streets by 2036 if the number of carshare vehicles reaches 9,000 in the next two decades, analysis by premier integrated infrastructure firm  AECOM has found.

With nearly six million people expected to call Greater Sydney home by 2036, each carshare vehicle has the potential to replace 10 private vehicles[1] and, based on membership forecasts, this could see as many as 300,000 ‘Sydneysiders’ using shared vehicles. This many carshare users would drive 180 million fewer kilometers per year than if they owned cars and free up more than 1.2 million square metres of street space for other purposes, like bicycle lanes, street markets and pocket-size parks.

“AECOM estimates there will be at least 3,500 carshare vehicles in Sydney by 2036, and as many as 9,000 IF the public is encouraged to embrace car-sharing and city leaders provide the necessary support,” AECOM Cities Leader James Rosenwax said.

Accelerating beyond peak car

“We need to refocus our cities away from high car ownership and high numbers of single occupancy vehicle trips, especially in peak hours,” said Rosenwax. “One way to do this is by challenging traditional car ownership and utilisation models and to move our cities beyond ‘peak car’ – the point at which the number of privately owned cars and single occupancy vehicle trips on our roads stops increasing and starts to decline.”

“This isn’t just about inner Sydney residents; the Western suburbs are a huge growth area for our population and also transport on demand. If you jump ahead a few years and integrate ride sharing with automated vehicles, the ease with which those in Sydney’s South and West can use ride and carshare to close the gap between public transit and the home will be just as compelling – if not more so – as those in the City.”

According to AECOM, ‘transport on demand’ or ‘mobility as a service’ – involving the use of phone apps to book shared vehicles, privately operated cars and mini-buses, and using technology to better plan journeys that allow people to switch seamlessly between public transport, car-sharing and multi-modal transport options  – could speed up Australia’s journey towards peak car.

The AECOM report found that, on current projections, Sydney won’t see car ownership slide into decline for at least another 20 years. By then, there will be around 1 million more private cars in Sydney, increasing from 2.9 million in 2016 to about 4 million by 2036[2].

“This is why we need to accelerate shared mobility,” said Rosenwax. “Once we have an informed and empowered consumer with access to integrated journey mobile apps with carshare, ride share and public transit availability and costing, the use of private cars and the need for residential parking is only going to diminish.”

Attributable quotes from participants in the research:

  • “The biggest thing governments can do [to promote car sharing] is ensure carshare is treated as part of the public transport infrastructure”, Christopher Vanneste, GoGet Head of Locations
  • “Nobody is paying their way. As a result, we are overusing our roads.” University of Technology Sydney associate professor, and transport and urban planner, Garry Glazebrook

Case study: How will we get to work in 2036?

In a world where car- and ride-sharing is widespread, commuting to work will look very different. Leaving the house in the outer suburbs, a commuter will step immediately into an autonomous six-seat mini-bus. The bus will be scheduled to arrive every weekday at the same time. If a commuter’s schedule changes, another bus will change its route to pick them up. The commuter can also use an app to choose from a variety of other transport types, including small autonomous cars. The app shows the cost of each type of journey.

Stepping into the mini-bus, the commuter will join five commuters, who pay a smaller fee by sharing the ride. The bus has no driver, using a combination of radar, GPS and other sensors to navigate. Along the route, the bus constantly communicates with roadside signs, traffic lights and sensors using V2I technology, learning the location of traffic accidents while being given priority ahead of private cars by traffic lights at intersections. That data will allow it to calculate the optimum route to the nearby train station.

Arriving at the station, the bus will pull up in a drop-off lane, not unlike the departure drop-off at an airport. The commuter will step out and the vehicle will move off to another booking. When it is no longer required, the vehicle will then find a quiet back street to park, away from congested areas, or may optimise a route to its next pickup, realising the ideal of maximum vehicle utilisation.

About the research:

AECOM undertook an international literature review to identify the typical characteristics of carshare users, and benchmarked these against empirical data on carshare use in Australian capital cities, supplied by GoGet. A predictive model was developed based on these characteristics to estimate the medium term future potential for carshare. AECOM’s model uses census data and internal projections of the six typical characteristics of car-share users to map the census zones which meet those criteria. By estimating how many people live in these zones, we were able to estimate the potential market for carshare users and make assumptions about how many of these people would join a carshare scheme.

AECOM forecast the number of privately owned cars in Sydney, using data from the Bureau of Transport Statistics and Roads and Maritime Services, to provide a benchmark.

Research by Phillip Boyle & Associates[3] was used to estimate benefits, such as how many vehicles carsharing companies provide for each carshare user (0.03); the number of private cars each car share-vehicle removes from the road (10); the space required to park each private car (13.5 square metres), and the number of fewer kilometres driven each year by carshare users (2,000 kilometres).




[1] The Impact of Car Share Services in Australia Phillip Boyle & Associates, International Car Sharing Association, October 2016
[2] Household Travel Survey, NSW Transport Performance Analytics (TPA), 2003 and 2012/13
[3] The Impact of Car Share Services in Australia, Phillip Boyle & Associates, International Car Sharing Association, October 2016