Multiuse car-system

Key Innovation
Milan Car Sharing is a self-service rent-a-car system for members living in Milan.

Problematic background and context
Milan as a metropolitan has a big transportation problem. And the major part of the problem is caused by private cars. Everybody prefers to own its own car instead of using an alternative transportation instrument like subway, bus etc. In the other major urban centres like in Berlin/Germany alternative solutions are enabling people to try innovative ways for transportation. Because public transportation is sometimes not enough to respond people’s needs. The basic solution seems to be to buy a car, but car-sharing system is a very effective alternative way instead of owning a car. Also the costs of owning a car are very expensive including the taxes and insurances etc. When you buy a car you pay for the each second you own the car, but when you have the ability to use a car sharing system in your city, you only pay for the time you really need the car. That’s why car sharing in Milan is thought to be a really useful solution for transportation in the city.

Solution description
MCS is a self service car rental system; which enables the people to drive a car without the expense and hassles of owning a car with the benefit of saving money. It is an alternative solution to the traffic and air quality problems, especially commuter-related issues; it is an important new tool that can deliver real benefits quickly from primarily market-based capital. The system is thought by the president of Legambiente Andrea Poggio in September of 2001 as an alternative solution to the transportation problem of Milan. The project started with 3 cars, a garage in Via Pascoli and an internet site to introduce the system to the people. How does the system work: After you subscribe to MCS and get your MCS card your code on it, you become a member of MCS and you can make a reservation by the call center (Europe Assistance Vai). You can choose your car and the garage, from which you will take and return the car. At the time of your reservation you go to the garage and take your car by filling in the form there. Then you are free to use the car. By the time you return the car to the garage, they write down the km s you had with the car and you pay the bill in the end of each month.


Development phase
Diffusion: The solution is a very good idea, but because of the lack of publicity and promotions, the system can not be diffused higher. Also the lack of technologic equipments in the system, blocks it to improve and to get the people’s attention.
Maturity: The solution has been tested since 2001 in Milan; the same system is also being used in other cities all over Europe and United States for a long time. The solution is working well in the opinion of the users and organisers, but new innovative developments in the system should be done to scale up the system to an improved level.

Revenue/costs model
Annual membership 100 € Annual membership 70 € (If you are already a member of Trenitalia) Cost by an hour 1, 80 € (from 7 to 24) Free (from 24 to 7) Cost by km 0, 32 € per km.

Social evaluation
The society gains the sensibility to use an innovative, economic and ecologic system as an alternative solution to the traffic problem instead of owning a car on a collective basis. And on an individual basis the users have the relief to save money, time and stress by choosing this system as a solution.

Environmental evaluation
The cars chosen for the MCS system are low-emission and fuel-efficient, therefore they are less likely to pollute the environment. (smart, punto, C3, zafira, multipla ) These transportation vehicles are also chosen to be compact in their size for parking space efficiency to avoid the blockation of the roads and sidewalks. Milan Car Sharing parking areas are strategically located near public transportation hubs to encourage commuters to utilize the existing public transportation infrastructure; as a result, the integrity of the quality of the air is kept intact.

Economical evaluation
The MCS is a system, which enables the users to use a car without doing the tasks of owning a car like insurance or taxes etc. If you buy a new car, you pay for the each second you own the car (also for the time it stays in the garage), but when you use car sharing you only pay for the time you really use it. So it makes you save money and time and also saves you from the stress of the tasks of owning a car.

Mario Aloi, Mine Gokce Ozkaynak / Politecnico di Milano / Italy