Similar to bicycle sharing programs already in American cities like New York and Washington D.C., a new car sharing enterprise is proving successful in Mexico City, creating a new category of transport between public and private. “Inspired by Zip Car and similar projects in Europe, Carrot is the first car-share enterprise in Mexico. From just three cars, the program has grown to 40 vehicles – with the Nissan March and Leaf models and the Xtrail SUVs, being the most energy efficient vehicles sold in Mexico – and has signed up 8,500 members.” The aim of the program is to prevent individuals from purchasing a car, and families from purchasing a second.
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What’s the Big Idea?
While it sounds counterintuitive that putting more cars on the road would reduce traffic overall, for every new shared car, 15 autos are taken out of circulation, according to 2009 research in North American cities by Frost & Sullivan, a global business consulting firm. “The company aims to take “collaborative consumption” to the next level, says Fernando Lelo de Larrea, managing partner of Venture Partners, the venture capital firm that helped Carrot get off the ground. … The cost of Carrot, competitive with higher-end taxi services, necessarily targets the middle class as it prices out low wage earners.”