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.
HOURCAR announced a major expansion today. The Twin Cities homegrown car-sharing operator will increase its fleet to at least 70 vehicles over the next 18 months, extending service to as many as 3,500 users in diverse Minneapolis and Saint Paul neighborhoods. Funds for the expansion were provided by the McKnight Foundation and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.
HOURCAR, a nonprofit business that was founded in 2005, currently serves 1,900 car-sharing members in the Twin Cities. Its members have access to 39 late-model, fuel-efficient vehicles for personal use.
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. City officials are mulling whether a partnership with a car sharing company could help expand the service to more areas of the city.
HOURCAR and the Neighborhood Energy Connection were honored to receive the Governor’s Certificate of Recognition last week for “outstanding contributions to improve air quality in Minnesota through early deployment of electric vehicles and plug-in infrastructure” from the Drive Electric Minnesota Coalition.
HOURCAR’s newest hub opened today on the corner of Oak Grove Street and Spruce Place, in the parking lot at 116 Oak Grove Street in Minneapolis. The home of HOURCAR #38, an orange Honda Fit, this hub is a block south of West 15th Street in the Loring Park neighborhood.