Switzerland’s only nationwide car-sharing operator, Mobility Cooperative, has announced that its membership has grown to over 120 000 customers – a rise of 7.4 per cent since last year.
Mobility believes that its success is partly due to Swiss people viewing accessible and convenient transport as more important than having their own vehicle. Often, this is also a cheaper option. Mr Patrick Eigenmann, the group’s spokesman, says: ‘The average private car in Switzerland isn’t used for 23 out of 24 hours, yet it is a constant money-guzzler.
‘With Mobility, on the other hand, people only pay for their actual journeys, since our system is based on hourly and kilometre tariffs. A combination of Mobility and public transport saves 4 000 Swiss francs (€ 4 150) a year compared to running a car.’
Founded in 1997, the group’s red cars and vans have become increasingly visible on Swiss city streets. The vehicles are available at some 1 400 pick-up points across the country, including at railway stations.
The success of the group is matched by the increase of private and company carpooling across the country. However, the numbers of registered road vehicles in the country have not declined but also risen to match the increase in the population.