La mobilité des abonnés au service d'autopartage de Québec (Communauto) et leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre

Authors: Alexandre, Louis
Advisor: Thériault, Marius
Abstract: Car sharing is a concept developed in Europe during the 1990’s. This type of service is used by people and enterprises using car sporadically or that do not own a car, by choice or due to constraints. Car use is share among subscribers who must make a reservation to use it on an hourly or daily basis. This phenomenon is emerging and rapidly growing in Europe and North America. In 2006, car sharing was implemented in 600 cities around the World, meaning more than 348 000 subscribers sharing usage of 11 700 cars. In 1994, Auto-Com was launching in Quebec City, the first still existing car sharing service in North America. This company, now called Communauto, is now well implemented in four urban regions in the Province of Québec (Montréal and its inner ring of neighbourhoods, Québec-Lévis, Gatineau and Sherbrooke), having more than 20 000 subscribers in 2010, among which 3 000 are living in Québec City. The yearly growth rate was close to 20 % during the last few years. At the beginning, this service was mostly available downtown, but it is now well implemented in the first and second ring suburbs. The impact of this phenomenon on mobility deserves research. Is the mobility behaviour of car sharing users similar to that of other car drivers? Conversely, are the subscribers using this type of access to car as a complement to public and active transportation modes? Car sharing users must make a reservation, walk or move to access the vehicle and should pay in consideration of usage (fixed costs included). In comparison, an owned car is always available and only variable costs are immediately perceived (gas and parking). In theory, time constraints, distance and costs of using a shared car, should advantage other transportation modes (walking, biking, public transportation and taxi). Therefore, we anticipate that car sharing users are consuming less energy and generate less greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions than car owners, for their travelling needs. However, some car sharing subscribers did not have car access prior to their membership; their overall mobility could have increased or be higher than that on non-motorised people living in the same neighbourhood. The main purpose of this research aim at testing if the GHG emission balance of car sharing users is higher or lower than in the general population. A survey was realised between April and June of 2009 in order to collect all trips made by a sample of Communauto’s subscribers for an entire week. In order to minimize costs of such a weekly survey, a novel approach based on the Web was developed, thanks to a NCE GEOIDE Network initiative, receiving complementary funding from SSHRC and FQRSC. Respondents were asked to locate their activity places on an electronic map using a custom application based on Google Maps. Afterwards, places geo-referenced by respondents were used to fill seven daily trip logbooks using drop down menus. This survey was highly challenging because there are very few existing trip surveys using the Web. Moreover, the survey had to retain interest of respondent during an entire week. Finally, 57 Communauto’s subscribers living in Québec City filled an entire week logbook using the Web interface. Results of these car sharing users were compared to those of a control group (122 respondents) previously surveyed using pen-and-paper methods, in 2002 and 2003, also in Québec City (PROCESSUS Network funded by SSHRC and GEOIDE). When making comparison of both methods, one can understand the excellent potential of the Web-based survey. The experiment was very informative and the results are of great interest for those who want to develop a Web survey on mobility. Significant differences were observed for the selection of location tools between genders and among education levels. Findings are convincing with strong differences in mobility behaviours between car sharing users and others. Modal shares of car sharing users are very similar to those of non-motorized people in the control group and the average GHG emissions balance of car sharing subscribers is significantly lower than that of the control group for all considered neighbourhoods in Quebec City (downtown, older suburbs, new suburbs). Differences can also be established based on motorization, residential location and the nature of urban fabric.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2011
Open Access Date: 17 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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