The city of Bremen, Germany, is trying to convince its residents to abandon car ownership by giving them access to an ultra-modern public transport system and a car-sharing program that lets citizens quickly and cheaply rent vehicles at 37 city locations. Bremen officials say the effect of their program, which was launched in 1990, is hard to quantify, but they believe it has enabled one-third of households to dispense with their automobiles. The city has also reduced traffic on its inner city streets by about 500 cars per year. At first, residents who gave up cars thought they were making a sacrifice for the environment, but many soon came to appreciate having access to a car without the expense or hassle of car ownership and maintenance. Other cities in Germany and Europe are considering similar programs.
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