Portlanders are already known for using alternative means of transportation, but transportation is about to get a whole lot more innovative here in the Rose City.
Getaround, a peer-to-peer car sharing service, is bringing its program here. Already established in San Diego and San Francisco, a newly passed piece of legislature cleared the way for the company to move north.
Peer-to-peer car sharing is relatively new, but Getaround, the city of Portland, and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium are entering into a unique partnership to obtain data and better understand the practice. Utilizing a 1.725 million dollar grant from the Federal Highway Administration, the three entities will be examining whether (and to what extent) peer-to-peer car sharing services reduce the total amount of miles driven by vehicle owners.
How does Getaround work? Put simply, it connects people who need a car with people who have one to (temporarily) spare. Car owners list their vehicles as available to rent, and car seekers get in touch with them directly to arrange a rental. Their model is highly decentralized: owners set their own prices and are responsible for making their cars appealing to renters; renters can queue up up to five cars at once and the first owner to contact them wins the bid. The idea here is that everybody wins: the car owner earns money, renters have use of a car without the hassle or expense of purchasing one — not to mention the benefits to the environment and the local economy.