Spride, a provider of personal vehicle sharing services, and City CarShare, a Bay Area nonprofit car sharing organization, today announced the availability of the first personal vehicle share program within a car sharing fleet.

The new Spride Share pilot program enables car owners to loan their vehicles to the more than 13,000 screened and qualified members of City CarShare. The program allows owners to offset the costs and environmental impact of private car ownership while providing City CarShare members with access to a greater variety of green vehicles.

The Spride and City CarShare pilot coincides with a new law (Assembly Bill 1871) signed Sept. 29 by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. This new law establishes that personal vehicle sharing does not constitute a commercial use of the automobile, eliminating the primary barrier to broad adoption of personal car sharing opportunities. Prior to the law, car owners ran the risk of losing personal auto insurance if they received compensation for sharing their cars.

"With the enactment of AB1871, California is reinventing automobiles as a shared service," said Sunil Paul, CEO and founder of Spride. "I am thrilled to be part of the first wave of participants by enrolling my own Toyota Highlander Hybrid."

While the average car sits idle for 90 percent of its lifetime, the Spride Share program allows owners to offset rising automobile costs by sharing their vehicles within City CarShare's trusted network. Drivers will simply visit the City CarShare website or use a mobile phone application to reserve an automobile, which is then accessed with a secure, electronic key fob.

Spride's vehicles are equipped with City CarShare's proven access and tracking technology, which makes loaning a vehicle safe and reliable. City CarShare members pay the same hourly and mileage rates for Spride vehicles as with all City CarShare vehicles. With hours and mileage included, the average rate is $6.75 per hour for members.

"By adding Spride vehicles to our fleet, we can extend our service to more people in more locations through better utilization of existing vehicles," said Rick Hutchinson, CEO of City CarShare. "Spride's new model brings us one step closer to achieving our mission by helping our communities become transit-oriented while mitigating carbon emissions."

Spride pilot participant Scott Lebus added: "I love that I can lend my car to neighbors and friends while adding extra cash to my bank account. It feels great to partake in a new, tech-savvy program that is bringing people and resources together to make a difference."

AB 1871 will be enacted on January 1, 2011. Bay Area car owners interested in taking part in the Spride Share pilot can learn more by visiting www.spride.com.