Car sharing schemes have proven popular in many European and North American cities for some years. The concept has now reached Portugal and is proving a great success. The Portuguese are looking to cut their transportation costs in other ways too, such as opting for motorcycles to get to work instead of cars.
Most of you probably already know what car sharing entails. It’s basically a rental scheme where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. Car sharing allows you to save money on fuel while also protecting the environment (as once the cost of driving is shared, the number of cars on the roads is reduced). One such scheme which has proven very popular in Portugal is called Mob Carsharing. Promoted by Lisbon’s principal transportation company, it provides drivers with vehicles to use within the city – all they have to do is book the vehicle in advance and pay a small fee. Its success has prompted other companies to offer a similar kind of service. More and more people are also using motorcycles, in particular the 125CC, to get to work, leaving their cars at home. At the moment, you only need to have a driving license in order to ride a 125CC (and not a separate motorcycle license) which has caused sales of this particular model to explode. However, this law is due to be revised at the end of this year.
One reason for all this is that people are worried about spending too much time stuck in traffic and want to reach their destination faster, but these changes are primarily the result of increasing fuel prices and the lower standard of living in Portugal since the euro was introduced. If people use the car sharing schemes, they can make a monthly saving of over 100 euros. Some studies show that if you currently spend 400 euros a month, with these measures you can cut your outgoings to just 93 euros. That’s a lot of money to save just on your way to work! Read more at www.energiapositiva.pt or www.mobcarsharing.pt (note: sites in Portuguese only).
Lúcio from Lisbon, Portugal