After a two-year run, Ashland CarShare shut down its fleet of 3 shared Priuses last summer. A dedicated group worked together for several years to make Ashland the smallest town in the US with an active carsharing fleet, and it was a disappointment to many when the organization couldn’t maintain its presence. However, at the same time ACS was announcing its closing last June, lawmakers in Salem were passing legislation to clear an insurance hurdle for peer-to-peer carsharing in Oregon. Shortly thereafter, the company Getaround started operating in Portland.
Getaround’s business is to facilitate the short-term rental of private vehicles to private parties: peer-to-peer carsharing. Getaround’s website and mobile app are the hub for making these connections. Car owners set their own hourly rate and conditions, and pay a 40% commission to Getaround. Aside from facilitating the process, Getaround’s major contribution is insurance on the vehicle during the time it is rented out. Owners keep the other 60% of their rental fee. Getaround’s site has a tour and a FAQ page.
Why highlight carsharing on our site about active transportation? The evidence is strong that carsharing is a major support for people who want to use bikes, transit, and their feet for most trips. It makes it easier for households to own one less car, or no cars at all. Peer-to-peer carsharing has the added advantage of paying people not to use their car–by renting it out instead–adding a new disincentive to unnecessary car use.
When is peer-to-peer carsharing coming to Southern Oregon? When enough people vote for it by listing their car for rent with Getaround. Steve Gutmann of Getaround stresses that it’s a no-risk proposition to list your car. Users set their own hourly rate and blackout times, and can always simply turn down any rental request. According to Gutmann, the magic number for Getaround to turn on functionality in a community is 25 registered vehicles. Ashland and Medford have 3 already, with no outreach effort. If this sounds useful to you, spread the word. If you own a vehicle made since 1995, consider signing up with Getaround yourself.