FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/20/2015
Car Share Options Coming to a Neighborhood Near You
SEATTLE – City Council unanimously approved legislation to expand car sharing for Seattle’s residents today. The Council expanded the existing program to allow up to 3 additional companies to join car2go in providing car sharing services.
“Public support for this program has been phenomenal. I’m excited to expand car sharing city-wide to bring the service to all residents,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the legislation’s sponsor. “This program, coupled with voters approving expanded Metro bus service and the City expanding access to Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft, will make it easier for anyone to move through the city without the need to own a car.”
“Car sharing” is a membership-based service that allows qualified drivers to temporarily use any vehicles available in a fleet for a per-use fee. Since a car sharing pilot program was created in early 2013 with the car2go company, 500 car2go vehicles have served over 59,000 members with 3-4% of members reporting that they gave up a vehicle as a result of having access to the service. Each vehicle is used for an average of 6 daily trips.
2 companies have expressed interest in competing in the Seattle market. The legislation delivered by Mayor Murray allows up to 3 new companies to provide service, with up to 500 vehicles each (or 750 vehicles if the companies’ geographic service boundaries include the whole city). All operators will be required to provide city-wide service within 2 years of receiving their first permit.
“These services complement our transit service in helping people reach remote destinations that aren’t easily accessible by Metro or Sound Transit,” added Councilmember Rasmussen. “I hope the private sector keeps these transportation innovations coming.”