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?

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