Austin Looks to Launch Large-Scale Car Sharing Program

On March 26, Austin, Texas, city officials revealed plans for a 200-vehicle, pilot car sharing program, according to Austin Business Journal.

The six-month pilot program requests a lease agreement for smart cars with car2go, a division of Daimler. On April 2, the agreement will go before the city council.

If the lease is approved, the city would offer public parking spaces for 200 Smart Fortwos by car2go for an equal amount of car2go driving time for work-related use by city employees for a six month period. The program allows customers to make reservation via a mobile phone or car2go’s Web site. Additionally, customers can keep the vehicles for as long as they like. When returning the cars, customers simply park the vehicles in a public parking space that’s in the operation area.

City officials said the program has the potential to lower emissions, reduce traffic congestion and provide an alternative transportation solution.

A similar car2go concept was originally launched in Ulm, Germany in October 2008.

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