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Minneapolis is one step closer to a citywide car sharing program.
The Minneapolis City Council's transportation and public works committee on Tuesday authorized the negotiation of a two-year agreement with Car2Go to launch a car sharing pilot program.
Once terms of a contract are agreed upon, the car sharing pilot would still need full city council approval before it is launched.
Hertz, Hourcar and Zipcar were also considered, but flexibility, short trip value and a larger number of curbside pickups were a few of the reasons the city advanced to negotiations with Car2Go.
Car2Go proposed a fleet of 250 Smart cars for the pilot program. Most of the vehicles will be available for pickup and drop-off at any legal on-street parking space.
Car sharing is a community based transportation service that allows pre-approved members to use a car when needed. Cars are parked at locations throughout the city and members reserve and access vehicles as needed. Generally, vehicles can be rented by the hour or day, and the rates charged by the operator usually include all expenses including maintenance, fuel, insurance and parking fees.
A University of California-Berkeley analysis found that as of July 2012, 26 U.S. car sharing programs had 806,332 members sharing 12,634 vehicles. The researchers also found one car sharing vehicle can replace as many as 9 to 13 individually owned vehicles, resulting in reduced traffic congestion, reduced emissions and less demand for parking spaces.