Carsharing is an increasingly popular way to have convenient access to a quality car without the hassles and expense of owning one. Carsharing provides flexible wheels for an urban lifestyle, offering self-service access to a network of cars throughout the city, 24 hours-a-day, without the fixed expenses of car ownership or the paperwork hassles of car rental.
Carsharing began decades ago in Europe, and the most established car sharing network in the world—with some 30,000 members—is Mobility Carshare in Switzerland. U.S. companies include Boston-based ZipCar, Seattle-based FlexCar, San Francisco-based City CarShare and Detroit’s Via-Car. Carsharing is changing lives in 28 North American cities, with tremendous expansion planned over the next year.
EcoCity Cleveland is proud to bring car-sharing services to Northeast Ohio. Our transportation program manager, Ryan McKenzie, is launching CityWheels to serve walkable neighborhoods and business districts throughout the region.
Oberlin College will host cars starting in February 2006, and Ohio City (west of downtown) and Coventry (near Case) will welcome service by April. A grand opening for downtown Cleveland is planned for May, with additional locations throughout the region to follow, based on demand.
Interested in having CityWheels in your neighborhood? Provide your address here.
How does CityWheels work?
Simplicity is the key. CityWheels deals with insurance, assigned parking, gas, and maintenance. Applicants for membership pay a one-time fee, and are screened for driving and credit problems.
Once confirmed, members receive a smart card and ID number, and can make reservations online or by phone for a specific number of hours. Members are billed once per month for the hours they've used – rates start at $8.50 per hour, with discount plans for regular users.
The cars—usually compacts and hybrids, with pickup trucks or minivans available for hauling—are parked at surface lots and garages around the city.
How does insurance work?
The CityWheels insurance policy includes liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance for all members. Members do not need any coverage of their own.
What about gas?
Gasoline is included in your CityWheels membership. Whenever the gas gauge goes under a half tank, the member fills the tank using the CityWheels gas credit card.
Who takes care of cleaning and maintenance?
CityWheels regularly cleans and washes all vehicles. Members are responsible for leaving cars clean for the next driver. Smoking is not allowed in CityWheels vehicles. Additionally, CityWheels performs all maintenance and repairs. We take special pride in operating a clean and well-maintained fleet.
How do I reserve a car?
Visit the CityWheels website or call our 24-hour reservation line to reserve your car. Members can make reservations up to a year or a minute in advance. You decide the date, time and duration that you need a car, select the most convenient location and if the car is available, it's yours. If the car you selected is booked, simply refer to our car location map for another one nearby.
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Carsharing and the urban trans picture
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