Mobility for the 21st Century

John Barobs
HOURCAR: Car-Sharing for the Twin Cities

Car sharing is a revolution in personal transportation – mobility for the 21st century. About 75% of North Americans live in cities. Many of them simply don’t drive enough to justify the expense and hassles of owning a car – yet can’t give up the freedom of drving a car when they choose to.

Car Sharing provides flexible wheels for an urban lifestyle. It’s instant access to a network of cars throughout the Twin Cities 24 hours-a-day. Costs are per trip. Other benefits include improving air quality, saving money and reducing your contribution to global warming. It is a big step to get rid of your car, but millions of people all over Europe and the West Coast are doing it every day.

HOURCAR is an innovative transportation solution now available in the Twin Cities. It is the Twin Cities’ first car-sharing program and provides a fleet of cars for hourly reservations for people who only need a car occasionally.

Most people don’t need cars all of the time. People living without cars get around on foot, bikes, and mass transit. For occasional errands, a trip by car may be necessary. An HOURCAR member makes a reservation online, walks to his or her nearest neighborhood hub where the car is kept, drives the car away, and returns it by the end of his or her reservation time slot. Simple. HOURCARs are equipped with onboard computers that record the time and distance that a member drives. He or she is billed at the end of the month.

Car maintenance, repairs and insurance combined are not cheap. However, car-sharing can spread the fixed costs of car ownership across several people in a neighborhood, making access to cars more affordable.

One of the most exciting aspects of HOURCAR is the fleet – 2005 Toyota Priuses, gas-electric hybrid cars with excellent fuel economy and low emissions. Not only are you saving money and hassle by participating in a car-sharing program, you are reducing your overall impact on the environment by driving less and using gas efficient vehicles!

All HOURCAR applicants are screened for a clean driving history, agree to a set of member rules, and attend a new member orientation where they learn all of the how-to-basics of sharing cars. Individual, Household, and Business memberships are available.

HOURCAR Car-Sharing Program

St. Paul, MN


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