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Carsharing has been around since the 1990s, but, not surprisingly, it has seen rapid growth ever since the economy started to tank back in 2008. The increasingly popular short-term car rental solution is a great tool for people in large, urban cities, and according to a study from Colorado-based Navigant Research, the number of carshare participants will continue to climb from today's 2.3-million users to more than 12 million by the end of the decade.

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The next time you go visit your doctor for a check-up, go ahead and take a car-sharing vehicle. Why? Because that way you can say that you're actively engaging in a mode of transportation that helps your health.

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Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Car2go Smart Fortwo – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Last month, Zipcar's annual Low-Car Diet saw 250 people in over a dozen cities trade in their personal car for a shared Zipcar and other transportation alternatives (bus, bike, walking). Zipcar surveyed the participants after the month-long trial and has released a few interesting numbers about what happened to those who went without a personal car for 30 days:

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What's better: everyone owning their own car (which sits unused for 22 hours a day) or everyone having access to a car any time they need one? As you might suspect, this slightly loaded question is easy to answer for car sharing site Zipcar and ride sharing site GoLoco founder Robin Chase. In fast, Chase is a big fan of sharing in general. In a recent interview with Eric Steuer over at GOOD, Chase discusses that the sharing model is a benefit to society and not just the sharers themselves. "Ther

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Zipcar's latest promotional event, the Low-Car Diet, will kick off in 13 cities - including Portland, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston, San Francisco, and Seattle - where Zipcar has a presence this month. In these cities, the company has organized small groups of a few dozen drivers to publicly gather and drop their keys into a lock box as they pledge to not drive their personal car for one month. Instead, the dieters will walk, bike, ride the bus, and use Zipcar's vehicles for 30 days. The

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Following the lead of ZipCar, Hertz is launching its own car sharing service under the "Connect by Hertz" brand. Hertz is starting with a slow roll out in New York City, Park Ridge, NJ, London and Paris. The initial fleet of 35 cars in New York includes MINIs, Camrys and Priuses. All of the Connect by Hertz cars are equipped with GPS systems, bluetooth and EZ-Pass for getting through toll booths. Hertz is offering a number of rate plans ranging from $50 a year to $125 per month (yes, you read th

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Nissan Nuvu concept

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There is no shortage of online carpooling or rideshare websites -

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Most of us here in the U.S. don't get the opportunity to drive around in the UK very often, and that includes myself. Still, I was a bit shocked when I read the press release I've now posted after the break, which announced that the UK has just opened the country's first High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane. So, they're a little ahead in roundabouts, and we're a little ahead in carpooling.

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There are reports that the car share companies Zipcar and Flexcar will merge. Financial terms were not disclosed but it looks like Zipcar is absorbing the smaller Flexcar. The name of the merged company, which will have more than 5,000 vehicles and 180,000 subscribers in 48 cities, will be Zipcar. The news is expected to be made official by the weekend. We will have more as the story develops.

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As you can see in the pic, my car sharing user card arrived in the post today. That's nice, 48 hours after I faxed all the documentation they requested. The pic also shows the T10 cards that allow 10 trips on any kind of public transport in Barcelona Metro Area, on up to 4 different transport modes.

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I need to replace my car. But, I have decided, more exactly, that I'm going carless. I currently have a car which has served me good. My late-1998 Seat Ibiza TDI Hit has reached 200,000 km on the odometer. The car has been a constant source of satisfaction. Since the TDi engines appeared in Audi in 1989, they have delivered excellent mileage, emissions and reliability. Most of the diesel craze that Europeans live in is a direct influence of that technology. However, after 9 years of good service

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Many car rental services have an age requirement of 21. Car sharing services Flexcar and Zipcar are lowering their requirement to 18 as they expand into more universities this Fall. Car companies avoid younger drivers because they crash. 16 to 19 year olds crash four times more often than people over 20 according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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