February 7, 2006

Ithaca Considers Car Sharing Idea

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The city of Ithaca may create a car sharing program – a membership-based system in which participants have access to a fleet of cars – in an effort to reduce car crashes, congestion, energy-use and pollution by having fewer vehicles on the road.

The car sharing program would grant Ithaca households and businesses that joined the organization unlimited use to a number of shared-use vehicles, from cars to light trucks, on an as-needed basis. Program participants would pay a fee for each usage of the vehicle, including gas, insurance and maintenance expenses, while car sharing automobiles would be allowed free parking throughout Ithaca.

A car sharing proposal was first introduced in Ithaca nearly two years ago, and the program has continued to gain support. Last summer, Dan Roth grad, coordinator for the ad hoc committee for environmental sustainability and transportation, received a grant from Ithaca College and EcoVillage to look into car sharing options for Ithaca’s EcoVillage.

“I worked with Ithaca College business students to design a car sharing plan to begin at the EcoVillage