December 1, 2005
Maximizing the Value of Carsharing
Yesterday's Willamette Week features an article about the cities (including Portland) and state agencies converting the motorpools to use carsharing companies like Flexcar.
Clearly this is a good deal for the governments, they are saving real dollars on the vehicle costs. And presumably it's good business for Flexcar.
But why is it good for transportation in Portland generally? Because carsharing is a 'virtuous circle' operation. The more customers there are, the more vehicles there are, which means using them becomes more convenient, generating more customers. So the conversion of any fleet to Flexcar makes carsharing more useful for all of us.
And carsharing is good for the community for a number of reasons:
- Reduces auto-ownership (freeing up parking in dense neighborhoods like mine)
- Research shows that carsharing users are more likely to use transit, bikes and their feet for many trips, with all the accompanying benefits to the community in reduced congestion and environmental advantages.
So my question is, what are other fleets, perhaps in the private sector, that we could encourage Flexcar to go chase?
December 4, 2005 7:27 AM
Scott Mizée Says:
I'm excited to see that Flexcar is becoming more viable in more locations. One factor, I believe, for its continued growth is for Flexcar to fan out into more of the neighborhoods that aren't immediately adjacent to a MAX line. My own neighborhood of University Park is one example. On a rainy morning this week, I had to go into work before the buses were running. I did not have any other transportation options available to me and therefore walked the 40 minutes to the nearest Flexcar on the Yellow MAX line. If Flexcar would place cars deep within neighborhoods near institutions such as the University of Portland or CCC campuses, I believe this would go a long way in increasing usage by folks close to their homes. Our family of 6 has been able to survive on one car since we moved to Portland 3 years ago in part due to Flexcar and Tri-met. Lets keep this car-sharing trend going so we can all continue to enjoy our excellent Portland quality of life for years to come.