Understanding the Competitive Advantages of Car Sharing: From the Travel-cost's Perspective

Xianlei Dong1 , Yongfang Cai2 , Jiaming Cheng3 , Beibei Hu1* and Huijun Sun2
Abstract: The emergence and development of car sharing not only can satisfy people's diverse travel demands, but also can bring a new solution to facilitate urban low-carbon and green development. With the increasing acceptance of car sharing, the market competition between car sharing and traditional taxis is becoming increasingly fierce. Therefore, we explore the advantages of car sharing to travelers compared with taxis. In this paper, we first use the GPS trajectory data of car sharing orders to construct a comparative advantage model based on travel-cost. Then, we take Beijing as the research area to explore the travel-cost advantages of car sharing in terms of the time and space dimensions compared with taxis, through calculating the travel-cost of car sharing and using simulation to calculate that of taxis. The results of the comparison between car sharing and taxis from the perspective of travel-cost are as follows: (1) Compared with short trips, the travel-cost advantage of car sharing is relatively higher in medium and long trips; for travelers, the taxi has a higher travel-cost advantage when the travel time is either too long or too short. (2) On working days, it is more cost-effective to travel by shared cars for travelers before the rush hours in the evening, and the travel-cost advantage of using taxis is greater after the evening peak. (3) Compared with working days, it is more cost-effective to travel by shared cars on non-working days wherever travelers are living in the main urban areas or in the remote suburbs. It is suggested that relevant departments should understand the travelers' preference and analyze influence mechanism of other various factors on the market demand for car sharing as per the focus on the market on the travel-cost advantages of car sharing, so as to promote the healthy and sustainable development of urban shared transportation.

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