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HOURCAR in the Media

Stories about HOURCAR in the news.

Interview with HOURCAR’s Megan Hansen on Greater MSP Business
July 6, 2014
Greater MSP

HOURCAR Program Manager Megan Hansen sat down with Cindy Brucato from Greater MSP to talk all about car sharing in the Twin Cities.

HOURCAR in expansion mode
March 25, 2014
Southwest Journal

Need a car? Try not owning one.

Back in December, I asked Christopher Bineham, from HOURCAR, if people use car-sharing more in the winter months. I thought that with colder weather, people who walk or bike for shopping or to get other places might be turning to car-sharing as a seasonal alternative. When it snows, you don’t have to dig out HOURCAR cars. All their spaces are cleared by a contractor within 24 hours of a snowfall. All cars also have a scraper and small shovel. They are ready to roll, even in winter.

But, Christopher said, “No.” He said HOURCAR staff also had expected higher usage in winter, but the stats don’t bear it out. The highest use of HOURCAR car-sharing is in the spring and fall. Summer is steady.

So, with spring hovering at the edge of our latitude and high in our minds, it seemed a good time to check in with HOURCAR, especially as they are expanding. The HOURCAR fleet grew from 39 to 65 cars in 2013 and this year will jump to 80 cars.

Car sharing a success on Twin Cities streets
September 9, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS – By bus, or train, even bicycle, transportation in the Twin Cities has dramatically changed in the last decade and thanks to car sharing programs, those without vehicles are finding it even easier to be car-free.

“Car sharing to me is another one of those pieces that fills in the picture of living car free in Minnesota,” said Hour Car customer Nick Rosencrans.

Rosencrans is one of 2,000 members of Twin Cities based Hour Car, they all share 57 vehicles which are strategically placed in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Minneapolis Car Sharing Pilot Program is Growing
August 16, 2013
by Todd Wilson,

Jill Bernard is in the process of reserving an HourCar. “What’s nice about this neighborhood is that if this car is not available there’s probably 2 or 3 with walking distance that are,” Bernard said. “For someone who has always relied on public transportation you’re always watching the clock. With HourCar if I need to stay longer I can call them,” Bernard said.

HourCar is the first car sharing program founded in the Twin Cities. They have 57 vehicles parked at 53 hubs throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. Your range is unlimited, except the longest reservation is three days. Mary Morse of the “Neighborhood Energy Connection” which runs HourCar says it’s all about savings.

Metro Transit’s Shared Connections
June 5, 2013
Metro Transit’s Blog

The sharing economy is on the rise in the Twin Cities – and Metro Transit is playing a role in its growth.

Writing for Thirty Two Magazine, Jessica Conrad tells the story of how HOURCAR, Nice Ride and other shared services are changing people’s travel habits and the local economy.

Podcast #34 – The Future of Car Sharing with Christopher Bineham
May 13, 2013
by Bill Lindeke, Streets.MN

This week’s podcast is a conversation with Christopher Bineham, program manager for Hourcar, a local nonprofit car sharing operator in the Twin Cities. Christopher and I sat down last week on the patio at Fabulous Fern’s on Saint Paul’s Selby Avenue to talk about the debates over car sharing policies in Minneapolis, why car sharing makes sense for cities, and what a car sharing city might look like if all goes well in the future.

City approves bringing car sharing to the streets
May 10, 2013
by Eric Roper, StarTribune

Car sharing is coming to the streets of Minneapolis.

The City Council on Friday signed off on a two-year pilot program that will allow several car sharing companies to leave vehicles at on-street parking spots.

City leaders hope that boosting the number of vehicles and bringing them out in the open — shared cars now live in private ramps — will convince city residents to ditch their own rides.

Twin Cities car sharing grows, driven by concern for finances, environment
April 05, 2013
by Anna Burnstein, TC Daily Planet

Early in 2012, following the breakdown of their car, North Loop residents Joe Laha and his girlfriend Bridget Kromhout made the decision to give car sharing a try. Laha has used his bike to commute to work in downtown Minneapolis for years, and Kromhout has relied on public transit for her daily commute.

The Drive: Twin Cities car sharing is starting to pick up speed
March 18, 2013
by Tim Harlow, Star Tribune

Just over a year ago, Joe Laha’s car quit and he had a decision to make: Either buy a new one or go vehicle-free. He chose the latter.

Laha bikes 2 miles from his home in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood to his job as audio visual director at the Westin Hotel downtown at 6th Street and Marquette Avenue. He drives only when the need arises, such as running errands or making his weekly trip to the grocery store. For those occasions, he borrows a vehicle from Hourcar, a Twin Cities car-sharing program.

Car sharing coming to Central Corridor LRT
March 7, 2013
by Drew Kerr, Transit Talk

Residents along the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line are going to have a little easier time going car-free.

St. Paul-based Hourcar announced this week that it will add 31 new shared vehicles in St. Paul and Minneapolis over the next year, with many of them situated along the 11-mile Central Corridor LRT line set to open in mid-2014.

City mulls car-sharing partnership
January 28, 2013
by Eric Roper, Star Tribune

If car sharing vehicles are allowed to park on city streets, will more people use them? That’s one question behind a proposal that will be discussed tomorrow at the City Council’s transportation and public works committee.

Could Big Corporation Muscle In On Local Nonprofit?
January 3, 2013
by James Sanna, SouthwestMinneapolisPatch

Wednesday, a major car rental company announced it was buying the Zipcar car-sharing service. Zipcar serves dozens of metro areas across the country, including Minneapolis, where it competes with local nonprofit HOURCAR. But could this deal threaten HOURCAR with well-funded corporate competition?

Connections to the Corridor: HOURCAR Makes Autos Optional in the Twin Cities
September 19, 2012
by Mary Morse, Central Corridor Funders Collaborative

Perhaps you’re already sharing a car with a friend or family member—after all, the act of sharing cars is as old as cars themselves. But when HOURCAR hit the streets in 2005, it inaugurated the era of modern car sharing in Minnesota.

HOURCAR – are you on board yet?
September 15, 2011
by Ellen Palmer, Fresh Energy

So, I own a car, live on a bus route, and love to bike and walk. But for some reason was uncontrollably intrigued by the premise of HOURCAR—the local car-sharing service that provides members with hourly access to a fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles—as soon as I learned the Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC) was launching it.

HourCar Wins MN Cup Social Entrepreneur Division
June 21, 2011
by Christa Meland, Twin Cities Business

The St. Paul-based car-sharing program will receive a $20,000 award and compete against five other yet-to-be-named division winners for a $25,000 grand prize.

HOURCAR provides car share options in Minneapolis
July 5, 2010
by Jessica Mutunga,

HOURCAR is a local nonprofit organization involved in car sharing. The fleet consists of hybrids, high mpg compact cars and two solar-powered plug-in hybrids. HOURCAR is for a variety of people, including those that live downtown and do not have far to commute, and those that want to get rid of the underused car they have sitting in their garage.

HOURCAR Membership Breaks Records!
October 6, 2010
by Michelle Dibblee, Transit for Livable Communities

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

Not your car, Hour Car
June 9, 2010
by Jeremy Dennison, Minnesota 2020

Though Minnesota 2020 continues to promote a more robust transportation network for the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota, the simple fact is most people in the state, especially outside the metro, remain dependent on getting around in a car.

HOURCAR: Stress-Free Car Sharing
March 5, 2010
by Emma, MN Energy Challenge
Car sharing has always made sense to me. I’ve had friends use car sharing in other cities, but since I own a car I didn’t think that I would ever get a chance to try it out.

These people don’t just share the ride; they share the car
January 13, 2010
by Gail Rosenblum, Star Tribune

My hat’s off to Tom Altenhoff, 46, who needed to run errands after work Tuesday night. Altenhoff, who works for Hennepin County Human Services, pulled on his wool hat and turned up his coat collar before walking for nearly 30 minutes in the 14-degree wind chill from the Hennepin County Government Center. In a parking lot at Nicollet and Groveland, he jumped into a light blue Toyota Prius and off he went.

Hourcar adds Seward Co-op as vehicle-sharing hub
May 10, 2009
by Nicole Tommerdahl, Star Tribune

With the addition, Hourcar’s fleet now includes 20 cars at 18 locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. A 2008 matching grant of up to $150,000 from the McKnight Foundation should help the expansion continue.

HourCar unveils solar charging hub
October 28, 2008
by Leslie Brooks Suzukamo, Pioneer Press

A Twin Cities car-sharing program will use the sun to charge its plug-in hybrid vehicles, making it the first program of its type to use solar-powered cars, it says.

HourCar offers solar powered cars
October 21, 2008
by Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio

People enrolled in a Twin Cities car-sharing program can now do errands without burning an ounce of gas. The program is called HourCar. It’s been around for a couple of years, and it now has two Toyota Priuses that are converted to run on battery power — and the batteries are charged by the sun.

September 13, 2006
Minnesota Monthly

HOURCAR is a new car-sharing service that allows drivers in the Twin Cities to use vehicles by the hour. It has been operating in Europe since the late 1980s, and was launched here in the Twin Cities in June of 2005.