There is increasingly intense competition for kerbside space, parking and road-side infrastructure management is a complex challenge in most jurisdictions so working to better understand and improve current parking arrangements will be tackling a range of high priority issues for local and state governments, businesses, and our growing urban and regional centres.

The current, round trip, car share services in Australia are proven to reduce the use of motor vehicles and can also increase the use of public transport, cycling, and walking. This transport mode enables a reduction in pressure on network capacity resulting from population growth and cars owned by residents, which in turn reduces the number of cars competing for parking and driving space. Impressively this can all be achieved at a minimal cost to government and councils and other agencies charged with managing transport networks and parking.

Free-floating car sharing services (FFCS) have been introduced in a range of jurisdictions internationally as an additional option to round trip car sharing. FFCS removes the need for the shared vehicle to have a specific parking spot, most commonly allocated by a Local Government Authority, negotiated with the car-share provider. FFCS allows users to pick up and return cars anywhere within specified areas of a city.


While a seemingly simple proposal, whereby a customer can collect a vehicle through their member app and pay-per-km to a destination of their choice, and park it where another member of the car-share program can share it, this can be a surprisingly complicated process to enable, and can cause public backlash, such as seen with free floating bike share.

This project will work with key stakeholders in academia, government, industry, and the community to better understand the current parking challenges and work towards a solution that enables the wider availability and usability of car-share services.


One of the most visible but less considered impact of the more than 19.2 million registered motor vehicles in Australia is parking, with the number of cars soon to out-number the population and cars being stationary on average for 95% of the time, parking is only going to become more of an issue in our suburbs, towns, and cities.

It is reasonable to assume that a reduction in private vehicle ownership will help mitigate the impacts of parking and reduce the need for car-park spaces, and in the long-term, potentially change the way we look at road-side infrastructure with the opportunity for completely rethinking the way we manage land-use planning and development.

This project, in close collaboration with government and industry, will investigate if free flow parking for car-sharing programs can increase car-share uptake, helping reduce congestion and lead to better flows of traffic in and around regions, similar to the proven effect of round trip car share.

We want to be able to demonstrate the benefits to the agencies and the car-share organisations that correct data management and sharing can help benefit those users, as well as the urban region in a wider context. With research partners at RMIT and through the iMOVE CRC, ITS Australia are joined by IAG, Cubic, and Royal Automobile Association of SA to deliver this exciting project.

Investigating public parking and free-flow parking models to facilitate car-sharing programs more effectively across LGAs and multi-stakeholder precincts in Australia.

The goal is to research, design, and test best practice guidelines, including Parking Data Standards and data management, as well as assess curb-side infrastructure and parking restrictions, across a range of precincts that can be used by Councils and State Governments and other stakeholders to work with industry and providers to enable effective and efficient car-sharing in their jurisdictions


There is a substantial amount of research and analysis on the impacts and benefits of round trip car-share in Australia.

Currently the Australian car share service market supports over 150,000 users accessing over 3,0000 vehicles primarily in Melbourne and Sydney where 90% of the members and vehicles are based. In particular, in the City of Sydney, which has the largest network in Australia with 20,000 users (equivalent to 20% of the resident population of the municipality) using 805 vehicles (162 in off street locations) fixed to specific parking spaces allocated by the City of Sydney in consultation with the local community.

Thanks to the investment of the round trip car share service providers and the support of Councils, there is now a market in which car ‘services’ can compete with low-use car ownership.

We designed this research project to work with government, industry and key stakeholders to develop a framework and trial use-cases to offer Councils and their communities the tools and evidence base on which to expand uptake of car-sharing and consider free-flowing car-share services.

For more information or to get involved in this project please contact Stacey Ryan, Policy Manager ITS Australia.

Find out more about previous research and report project undertaken by ITS Australia through the iMOVE CRC – Mobility as a Service in Australia: Customer Insights and Opportunities.

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