The red cars of the Mobility Cooperative are distributed at around 1’500 stations throughout Switzerland. 70 per cent of these are in cities and conurbations, since this is where car sharing is particularly useful. Surveys conducted by the federal government show that half of the households in the biggest cities are already car-free – and the trend is rising. This is not surprising: after all, public parking spaces in urban areas are constantly being reduced to make more room for non-motorised traffic. Added to this is the fact that private cars spend an average of 95 per cent of their time just standing around; what is more, they are unecological and eat up a lot of money. It is true that people tend to overlook the true costs of owning a vehicle. “You get it for a good price and fill up every now and then. That’s it.” What gets forgotten is the insurance, parking costs, maintenance, repairs and the rest. Yet whichever way you look at it: according to TCS calculations, a car costs CHF 10’000 a year. With car sharing, on the other hand, you only pay for the time spent driving the car and the kilometres travelled. All incidental costs are included – including petrol.
In order to be able to replace privately owned cars as easily as possible, a dense network of shared vehicles is particularly important. In the 16 largest Swiss cities, the average distance to a Mobility car is 450 metres. In other words: anyone wanting to make use of car sharing only needs to walk an average of five minutes to get to the nearest station. Zurich residents have it easiest: there you only have to walk 339 metres – not exactly a round-the-world trip. But what is particularly intriguing is that Mobility users don’t always opt for the nearest station. They’re often prepared to go even further to get an electric car.
Car sharing works particularly well in our country because Switzerland has a dense and efficient network of public transport. Perhaps the best in the world. This makes combined transportation the perfect solution to congestion, space shortage and pollution. Depending on the situation and the section of the route they’re travelling, people travel by bicycle, bus, train or shared car. Thanks to Mobility’s close partnership with SBB, its vehicles are available at 400 railway stations – ideally positioned for the last mile of a journey.
So there are lots of arguments in favour of car sharing, including costs and a dense network of stations. What is more, it’s incredibly convenient to have the right car at hand at all times. A little city runabout for visiting the family, an estate car for a big shopping trip or a van for moving house. “I don’t own a car – but I have 3’000 vehicles at my disposal”. This is something you hear again and again from people who use Mobility. They regard themselves as being freed from the burden of having to own everything. They’re able to let go.