You might not realize it, but if you are a carshare user, you are a part of an international movement helping to improve the world’s cities. From Oslo to Paris, major metropolitan areas are beginning to limit or ban cars in their downtowns to help improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. At the same time, they are promoting carsharing and other forms of shared mobility (such as bikesharing and public transit) that support car-free and car-lite lifestyles.

As long as you have enough alternatives, living without a car isn’t a hassle—in fact, it can be liberating.

So why not save money, and help your city, by ditching your ride? In honor of Car-Free Day, here’s a look at how carsharing and other forms of shared mobility are helping to make cities greener, cleaner and more affordable.

Reduced Transportation Costs

For most families in the U.S., transportation is the second biggest expense after housing. The main culprit? You guessed it—car ownership. Paying for insurance, gas, repairs, and parking can add up quickly. In fact, according to AAA, it costs more than $8,000 a year to own and maintain a car in the U.S.

Owning a vehicle is also a sunk cost. Once your car is sitting in your driveway, it’s much easier to default to using it for trips both long and short instead of more economical and sustainable forms of transportation such as walking, biking, and public transit.

Given the hefty price tag associated with car ownership, going car-free can generate significant cost savings. According to the Shared-Use Mobility Center’s online benefits calculator, reducing the number of personal vehicles by 10% in Boston could save residents a combined $85 million in annual transportation costs.

Less Traffic Congestion

Car ownership can be expensive in other ways, too. When everyone chooses to drive alone, it contributes to more traffic on the roads and leads to gridlock, lost time and decreased productivity. Not to mention lower quality of life for those forced to commute each day in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

…Read the rest on the Ziptopia blog here!

Image credit: Adam Coppola Photography