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  • World Journal of Social Sciences

    Vol. 8. No. 2. June 2018. Pp. 43 56

    43

    Consumers Perceptions on Car Sharing: A Preliminary Study in Dhaka City

    Syed Yusuf Saadat1, KaziSayeed Ahmed2, Akther Jahan3, Naureen Jahan4 and Tasnova Binte Zahed5

    Car sharing occurs when two or more people travel to a particular destination by using the same car. Users can choose to use the service for a part of the journey or the entire trip. This study intends to evaluate the perceptions regarding a car sharing service of the students of North South University to see whether it can be presented as a viable alternative for their travelling needs. This research will aim to use this sample as a reference for the viewpoint of commuters who are currently in universities and the rest of Dhaka city, with regards to the commercial viability of a car sharing service. This research aims to represent the consumer perceptions on car sharing by looking at peoples existing travel patterns, their general attitude towards car sharing, and any incentives which can convince people to use a car sharing service. The findings of the study show that consumers are willing to use a formalized car sharing service in Dhaka. However, many consumers expressed their concerns regarding safety, and emphasized that security was the biggest obstacle to the success of a car sharing service. Since car sharing has the potential to act as a catalyst towards reducing congestion in Dhaka city, this research acts as a model for further work on this topic.

    Field of Research: Marketing

    1. Introduction Car sharing occurs when two or more people travel to a particular route or destination by using the same car. Users can choose to use the service for a part of the journey or the entire trip itself (Transport For London, 2007). Car sharing allows individuals the access to a car which is owned by an individual or an institution in exchange of some sort of monetary payment (Le Vine,et al, 2014). Dhaka city is a hub of congestion with it being the 7th most densely populated city in the world(Malone,2006).Since Dhaka has a population of nearly 17 million people and an area of 1.528 square kilometers (Asian Development Bank, 2011), the need for transporation will always be at a premium. In 2015, it was estimated that there were 930,990 registered vehicles in Dhaka city alone (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, 2015) which was a figure estimated till October 2015, the actual figure may very well be higher. According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, every year around 37,000 vehicles are added to Dhaka roads, of which around 80 percentare ______________________________

    1Department of Economics, North South University, Bangladesh, Email: s.yusuf.s@gmail.com

    2Department of Marketing & Int. Business, North South University, Bangladesh,

    Email: kazisayeed93@gmail.com 3Department of Economics, North South University, Bangladesh, Email: poppy060790@gmail.com

    4Department of Economics, North South University, Bangladesh, Email: naureen911@gmail.com

    5Department of Economics, North South University, Bangladesh, Email: tasnovazahed@gmail.com

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    private cars.Commuters use various modes of transport to meet their travellling needs including buses, CNGs, rickshaws and cars amongst other means of transport. As peoples incomes are increasing, the number of cars on the streets are also increasing, leading to more traffic congestion (Please refer to Figure 12 in Appendix 1). Thus, this research will look to get the views on car sharing of the respondents and their opinions regarding its ability to reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka city. To the best of our knowledge, no such study has been done regarding the users perceptions on car sharing amongst the university students of Bangladesh. The remaining paper is structured as follows. The literature review in Section 2 provides an overview of the secondary resources used to gather a theoretical background of the research. Section 3 details the research methodology of the paper. This is followed by the research findings in Section 4 and the conclusion in Section 5.

    2. Literature Review

    Car sharing services may be offered in two basic forms: static and dynamic car sharing.

    Static Car Sharing: In static car sharing, users can request to offer or demand a ride. Successful matchesbetween users occur when users find each other based on the request which was published. The application gathers a lot of data, helping users to narrow their search based on their preferences. However, it must be noted that it doesnt work in real time and users can only communicate through emails which can cause gaps in exchange of information.

    Dynamic Car Sharing:Dynamic car sharing is a form of car sharing which is heavily reliant on technology and smartphones. It allows users access to the application in real time and the GPS tracker helps pinpoint the exact location of the fleet of vehicles. The application finds overlapping routes based on the inputs of the users. The users can choose to operate the application either as a driver or a passenger. The driver is the one responsible for deciding which routes are to be taken. He will enter the origin and destination, time of departure, car model, color and license plate numbers of the car. The driver will ultimately accept or reject the request of passengers to access the car. The passenger provides relevant data which includes his or her existing location, destination location and desired departure time. The passenger will request the driver for a ride. The passenger then meets the driver at a predetermined meeting point and time after the driver accepts his or her ride request(Haddad, et al,2013).

    A sophisticated car sharing scheme will typically go through the following steps: Users register in the system and go through a form of pre-qualification process

    to be a part of the service in which they will go through a verificationof theiridentity and drivers license so that they can be able to use the servicein the future without needing to interact with any member of the staff.

    The users will go on to use the vehicles on a personal basis or behalf of an employer.

    The user may be billed on the basis of minutes or hours driven or based on the distance covered.

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    Users may have to give an additional subscription fee to be a part of the service along with the charges on each usage.

    Users can spontaneously choose to use the service as per their needs or make advanced reservations ahead of time.

    The vehicles will be available in a range of locations across the area of the services coverage.

    Servicing of the cars is done by the car service operators staff on occasional basis. Users may be incentivized to refuel the car or clean it after use. (Le Vine, et al, 2014)

    Technology utilized in the car-sharing system involves: Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies maybe utilized used to

    improve three main areas of operations: 1) Vehicle access (smartcards) 2) Member reservations 3) Data collection

    Smartcards Communicates user information to a central database which uses member IDs to track activities of the users of the service in terms of billing and security. These cards also allow users to unlock and drive their desired vehicles.

    Automated reservations This can be done online or through voice recognition or touch-tone telephone systems which facilitate quick and convenient customer scheduling.

    Automated vehicle locations This is utilized to track location of the fleet of vehicles through some form of cellular network, radio frequency or satellite tracking which helps users to easily pinpoint car locations and also aids the company in terms of automated billing and increased security. (Shaheen, et al, 2003).

    Car sharing targets a wide variety of customers groups who can range from commuters, students, and children (Bhrmann, 2017). It has been seen that the users have a specific socio-economic profile. They tend to be well educated and predominantly male young adults (between the ages of 25-45). They live in urban neighbourhoods and are either single or are childless couples who are from middle or high income households. They either own a single car or no car at all and have been heavy users of non-car forms of transport such as public transport, cycling and walking (Le Vine, et al., 2014). It must be noted that motorization has been responsible for 72 percent of world carbon dioxide emissions. It has been estimated that transport may account for more than 50 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 (Banister, et al., 2011). Automobiles are a prime source of carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrogen carbons(Katzev, 2003).Efficient road traffic can only be brought about by decrease in the number of cars used in the roads. The increased number of occupancies in a particular vehicle will bring down the overall number of vehicles in the roads (Kuntzky, K. et al., 2013).

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    3. Research Methodology The research will attempt to see the consumers perceptions of car sharing in Bangladesh by looking into the following research question: I. What is the perception that people have about car sharing in general? Hypothesis: It is expected that respondents will generally have a positive opinion about car sharing. The objective of this study is to analyze the perception of car sharing amongst users in Dhaka city. The purpose of this research is exploratory since it aims to probe into the notion o