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Ithaca Carshare Offers Style, Sustainability, and Ease

Written by Meredith Farley
9/2/2008

Carshare on IC's campus

Anyone looking for a stylish, fuel efficient way to get around without the cost of owning and maintaining a car can now check out the Ithaca Carshare program. The program, which just started this summer, allows you to use a car when you need one without the cost of putting a vehicle on the road.

The program features two membership options: the It’s My Car plan that covers two drivers and the Just in Case plan. There’s also a student membership available that includes a TCAT bus pass. Members pay a yearly or monthly membership fee. There’s also a miles-traveled fee and an hourly fee applied when members use the car.

Cars are located on and around the IC campus and the Cornell campus, in downtown Ithaca and in Collegetown. To reserve a car, just call ahead or go online, then pick up the car you requested. The keys are kept inside the car, and members are given a keycard that will open the door. You must return the car to the same location where you picked it up.

The carshare is designed to benefit its members and the community as a whole. The program utilizes new, fuel efficient vehicles that reduce CO2 emissions and noise. Their fleet is currently made up of Nissan Versas, but they plan to purchase a Ford Ranger truck and hybrids in the future. The program touts less traffic congestion, more parking, less wear and tear on the road, better air quality, less noise from older cars, and more people utilizing public transportation as being among the benefits of the carshare.

It’s a cutting edge concept based on the idea that many Americans use their vehicles as much out of habit as necessity. The carshare will encourage more thoughtful and efficient vehicle use among members, such as combining their errands and taking public transportation when plausible. They claim that for every carshare vehicle available, 15 cars come off the road, as members realize they can make do without their primary or secondary car. There are many economic and environmental benefits to utilizing the communal resource.

The carshare is available to anyone over 18 with at least two years of driving experience. If you are under 21, you must be able to provide proof of insurance, but if you are over 21 you will be covered under the program.



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