You may have noticed the small white and blue vehicles that started appearing in some Seattle neighborhoods beginning in January. The vehicles are part of Car2Go, a car-sharing company that allows members to drive the vehicles one way, and park on city streets. It’s proven to be a popular service during its short time here, and provides a different option for people who usually take public transportation, bike, or walk.
Over 18,000 people have signed up in the first three months, the fastest-growing launch in any US city. Car2Go has requested additional permits to expand their coverage area to include parts of West Seattle, as well as Beacon Hill, Columbia City, and Georgetown, to a southern boundary of Michigan and South Orcas (see this map).
In December of last year, the Council approved Ordinance 124063, which made the program possible, by allowing for free-floating car sharing. Annual permits are $1330 per vehicle to park on city streets. The ordinance allowed for SDOT to issue permits for up to 350 vehicles.
This Monday the Council will consider Council Bill 117733, which will allow up to 500 free-floating car share permits, sponsored by Councilmember Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee.
The permits generate revenue for the City; the fiscal note for the December ordinance estimated Seattle would receive $332,500 in revenue in 2013, based on 250 vehicles, although the legislation allowed up to 350 to be permitted; 330 permits were issued. This council bill would produce estimated revenues of just under $100,000 to the City in 2013.
Car sharing legislation was first adopted in 2008 in Seattle, and allowed for designated on-street car-sharing zones.