On Feb. 22, peer-to-peer car-sharing company Getaround announced the official launch of its peer-to-peer car-sharing service, and the start of a federally funded study of peer-to-peer car sharing in partnership with the city of Portland and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC).
The announcement came at a special press conference hosted by Getaround's founders, Portland Mayor Sam Adams and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer at Portland's City Hall. At the event, Getaround provided details about specific incentives available to owners and renters participating in the study, including cash payments of up to $300.
Getaround was selected by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) this past December to participate in a joint initiative with the city to use $1.725 million in federal funding to launch and study peer-to-peer car sharing in the greater Portland metropolitan area. The launch marks Getaround's first expansion into a major market outside of California and the first federally funded study of peer-to-peer car sharing.
"As a city that has long championed alternative modes of transportation, we are excited to officially launch this first-of-its-kind car sharing partnership with Getaround," Mayor Adams said. "Peer-to-peer car sharing will not only help Oregon reduce car overpopulation, but Getaround's service will also help connect Portlanders, while reducing our carbon footprint."
Getaround gives owners total freedom over their vehicle's pricing, availability and selection of renters. Additionally, the Getaround Carkit and iPhone app together allow members to conduct entire transactions using only their smartphone.
"This launch marks the beginning of an exciting new trend of eco-friendly, collaborative and market-based solutions to everyday challenges," said U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer. "Peer-to-peer car sharing has proven to be a creative and successful trend that will continue to grow and help shape the future of environmentally friendly legislation."
Getaround is backed by A++ insurance carrier Berkshire Hathaway.
Following suit of Oregon and California, now the state of Washington is currently working on legislation regarding peer-to-peer vehicle sharing. Getaround was in attendance at the most recent hearing to show support for the proposed legislation.