During the pilot program, city employees reserve Flexcar vehicles online and pick up the cars at a number of locations in downtown Portland via a smart card. Trips are billed by the hour, with gas and insurance included in the cost of the trip. “The program’s intent is to lower the city’s operational costs for the short-term transportation needs of city employees, without sacrificing service,” said Cross. Employees register individually with Flexcar, and each bureau is billed directly for the use. About 80 carshare vehicles are located in downtown Portland, available on a first-come first-serve basis. About half of the available vehicles are gas-electric hybrids, mostly Honda Civics. “Overall, drivers have expressed mostly positive feedback about the carsharing program,” said Cross. The benefits for employees who are also individual members of the Flexcar program include a large savings on the expense of car ownership, such as purchase, maintenance, operating costs, insurance, and parking. It also allows for carshare members to use lower emission vehicles. The city benefits as well. “The carsharing program allows us to reduce an asset of approximately $150,000 in motor pool value, eliminate the need for capital expenses to upgrade software and key management systems, and increase the opportunity for employees to use more emissions-friendly vehicles and choose alternative-fuel vehicles,” said Cross. A review of the pilot program is expected throughout the first year to fully determine its effectiveness and cost savings.
GFX 2018 in June took place in San Diego and broke attendance records. See what attendees and exhibitors had to say at the event.