Care to share? car service might park itself in Park City | ParkRecord.com

Care to share? car service might park itself in Park City

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Park City leaders are seeking ideas to start a car-sharing service in the city that would provide customers the use of a vehicle without a traditional rental.

City Hall has posted an advertisement on the municipal website. The deadline for submittals is July 11. It is difficult to predict what sort of interest there will be from firms that offer the service. Officials said in May that a company under the U Haul umbrella, known as UhaulCarShare, approached City Hall about launching a car sharing service.

The advertisement on the City Hall website indicates officials will set aside parking spots for the service but the municipality "is not interested in any major cost sharing or revenue-sharing . . . "

A car-sharing service would sign people up as subscribers. When they need access to a vehicle, they look online for availability and then pick a vehicle. They normally have access to a vehicle in one-hour increments. It operates differently from a traditional car rental.

The person would then pick up the vehicle in one of the parking spots that has been set aside for the program. The vehicles are secured through some sort of code or reservation system. The driver returns the vehicle to spot designated through the service.

It is not certain how many spots a firm will request to use for the service or where they will be located. Tyler Poulson, who manages City Hall’s environmental programs and is the staffer who will handle the submittals, earlier said the China Bridge garage seemed a possibility since it sits close to Main Street and the Old Town transit center. Poulson said a service could launch in Park City as early as the fall.

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Officials see there being the potential of environmental benefits with the start of a car-sharing service. Poulson has said studies have shown people driver fewer miles if they are enrolled in a service. The studies have also found that people using the services also use alternative transportation, like public transit, more frequently than others, he has said.

In an earlier report, Poulson indicated a car-sharing service operates in Salt Lake City, the only major one in the state. Aspen, Colo., also has a car-sharing service in operation.

The advertisement is available on the City Hall website, http://www.parkcity.org . Select the ‘Doing Business’ button and then the ‘Current RFPs & Bids from the dropdown menu. Then select the ‘Park City Car Sharing Services’ link.