Local residents will soon have greater access to a vehicle without having to own one when City CarShare, the Bay Area nonprofit, expands into Richmond and El Cerrito.
On Wednesday, the nonprofit was awarded a nearly $1 million Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) grant to expand its car sharing services into underserved East Bay communities, including Richmond, El Cerrito and Oakland. The grant will specifically fund a program called CarShare4All, which places City CarShare vehicles in low to moderate income neighborhoods.
The service allows residents to essentially share cars that are parked in certain locations of their cities. Residents can reserve an electric or hybrid vehicle or a wheelchair accessible van for a period of time without having to worry about car ownership, maintenance, gas and insurance. Every reservation includes gas, insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance.
City CarShare’s rates are between 10-percent and 50-percent cheaper than other car shares, and the company also provides subsidized rates for low to moderate income residents.
Exact locations for City CarShare vehicles in Richmond and El Cerrito have not been determined, although an El Cerrito official indicated one would be located at the BART Del Norte station, adding to the station’s exiting carshare access.
City CarShare will work with the cities to determine the best locations to park its cars and/or install electric charging stations, a spokesperson for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) told us Monday. An emphasis will be made to ensure locations are near transportation centers such as the BART stations.
CCTA applied for the MTC grant and will serve as the project’s fiscal agent.
City CarShare, which serves nearly 16,000 Bay Area residents, hopes to boost car sharing throughout the region in order to reduce car ownership and usage, thus easing traffic congestion and air pollution.
“Carsharing is a vital strategy for lowering our carbon footprint and reducing transportation costs,” said Rafael Reyes, executive director of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), which is helping to deploy the program. “We look forward to assisting City CarShare to bring expanded services to the region.”
UPDATE: Mayor-elect Tom Butt offered this in his e-forum, which provides a bit more information about the project: