A car-sharing service will operate in Park City for the first time starting later in the fall, something that leaders see as offering a convenience to people without vehicles and a means to reduce emissions.
The Park City Council recently approved an agreement with a firm under the U-Haul umbrella called UHaulCarShare. It was the only company that responded when City Hall issued a formal request for interested firms.
Tyler Poulson, who manages City Hall's environmental programs, said UHaulCarShare is ordering the vehicles that will be brought to Park City and Global Positioning Systems for them. He said the firm is also developing marketing materials.
Poulson said prices have not been published. He said UHaulCarShare will put a Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck and a Toyota Prius car in Park City. The City Council, as part of the approval, agreed to set aside two parking spots on a covered level of the China Bridge garage for the program. The spots, which have not been designated yet, will be posted with signs restricting them to vehicles that are part of the car-sharing service.
"These vehicles would service a wide range of customers and specific objectives including fuel efficiency, hauling materials and transporting varying numbers of passengers," Poulson wrote in a report submitted to the elected officials prior to the vote.
The agreement covers three years. It can be terminated by either side with 30-day notice. City Hall is not providing funds to the program and will not share in the revenue, if any.
Poulson said he anticipates the program will launch in October, but a date was not available by midweek.
"People are excited to have an alternative transportation option," Poulson said.
Someone who signs up for the service logs onto the UHaulCarShare website when they need a vehicle. They check for availability and then choose a vehicle for a certain amount of time. They then pick up the vehicle through an access code the firm provides. The service costs $25 to join plus rental charges when someone uses a vehicle.
Park City was not listed on the website by the middle of the week. There are three locations in Salt Lake City. In the middle of the week, prices in Salt Lake City were set at $4.95 per hour plus between 49 cents and 79 cents per mile, depending on the vehicle.
The website is www.ucarshare.com.
Poulson has said the service could be popular with vacation-homeowners and, possibly, with businesses that do not have company vehicles.
He has said studies have shown similar services result in a reduction of miles traveled in a vehicle by people who are enrolled.