HOURCAR, the Twin Cities’ local car sharing program, announces the coming completion of a significant fleet expansion. The expansion, begun in June 2013, increases the number of vehicles in HOURCAR’s fleet to 73 and significantly expands the number of neighborhoods served.
The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities has announced that it has selected HOURCAR to provide car sharing services on campus. Service begins August 1 with 10 new vehicles. Membership plans are now available for University students, faculty, staff and departments.
The 10 new HOURCARs at the University will be added to HOURCAR’s rapidly expanding fleet, which will now number more than 80 by early 2014.
HOURCAR announces the addition of eight new hubs to its network of locations throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The HOURCAR fleet now numbers 47 vehicles.
The HOURCAR hubs opening this week are the first round of an expansion funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation announced earlier this year. With the support of the McKnight Foundation and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, HOURCAR’s fleet will grow to 70 by early 2014.
“This is the beginning of a landmark growth spurt for car sharing in the Twin Cities,” reported HOURCAR spokesperson Christopher Bineham.
The HOURCAR hub at Hamline University has been permanently relocated. The hub has been moved to the south end of Hamline’s campus, across the street from the new Anderson Center and the Nice Ride station at Hamline. This hub is now also closer to the bus routes that run on Snelling and Minnehaha Avenues.
The Hamline hub’s new location is off Englewood Avenue, just to the east of the intersection with Snelling Avenue. The hub is in the small surface parking lot that is behind the Super America store at Snelling and Englewood.
We need your help. During our current 31-vehicle expansion, we’d like to locate several new HOURCAR hubs in convenient curbside spots around Minneapolis. After more than two years of discussion, the City of Minneapolis has told us that this will not be an option.
At the same time, Minneapolis is about to sign a contract with car2go, the one-way car rental service of Daimler AG, manufacturer of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart model cars.
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.
“We had no desire to go out and buy a car,” said Laha. And so far, car sharing has worked out pretty well for the couple, who are in their late thirties.
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.
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.
The vehicles – Toyota Priuses as well as minivans and trucks – will begin rolling out in May and are available to HOURCAR members who pay a membership fee of $5 to $15 a month.