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HOURCAR Membership Breaks Records!

10/06/2010

From Michelle Dibblee, Senior Organizer

Special Note: For Autumn Bike Walk Week, HOURCAR is waiving half of the application fee for new individual HOURCAR accounts (a $25 value) with coupon code BikeWalk10. Visit http://www.hourcar.org to apply today! (Member qualifications and safe driving criteria apply. Expires October 15, 2010).

Last week, Megan Hansen, the Member Services Coordinator with HOURCAR car-sharing program, had a conversation with a customer who said he used the money he would have spent on car ownership to pay off his mortgage early and travel extensively. I asked Megan, who is a TLC member, if she could fill me in about HOURCAR and the connection between car-sharing and a multi-modal transportation system.
Megan reported that September broke all previous records for HOURCAR applications and new members—a higher level than when gas was $4 per gallon. “Applications went way up in September – higher than the last couple months and higher than last year, even with similar fall discounts for students and other groups.” This could be a blip, but here’s to hoping that this trend is part of a larger shift in which people are walking, biking, taking transit, and ride-sharing for more of their daily travel.

“HOURCAR works best for people who can take care of most of their transportation needs without a vehicle. But sometimes a car is necessary, and that’s the niche HOURCAR fills for many people. It’s one part of a multi-modal system.”

For Megan, car-sharing and the multi-modal transportation system that TLC supports are so interconnected the relationship is hard to describe. “We all want the same thing – the opportunity to get around without driving all the time, and for some people, to be free of the costs of car ownership.”

For those seeking encouragement on the way to giving up a vehicle, Megan offers the following story from a new HOURCAR member trying to follow in his friends’ footsteps.  Both of them were regularly getting around without a personal vehicle but weren’t ready to give it up entirely.  They joined HOURCAR to find out if car sharing would fill their need for access to a car, and, happily for them and for HOURCAR, were able to take the leap and sell their personal cars. 

“I have so much respect for the people who are using HOURCAR to change their lifestyle. It’s not an overnight thing,” she adds, acknowledging that she’s been a commuter and knows the challenge.
Her basic words of wisdom? “Don’t be afraid to try it! There is a choice about how much you drive and there are so many possibilities out there for arranging your life.”

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