(KMTR) -- Lane Transit District introduced a new way to get around town without busses or another EmX route, launching a new partnership to rent out cars. Springfield
city officials cut the ribbon for expansion of the “WeCar” program on Thursday, March 29, 2012
WeCar, which is run by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, has been rolling in Eugene at the University of Oregon since 2009. Up to this point, however, the program only had four cars which are strictly available for UO students and staff.
Four additional cars are available for use in the Eugene-Springfield metro area by anyone in general public (after signing up).
Thursday afternoon, Springfield city leaders cut the ribbon on the car that will be stationed on Main Street, between 5th and 6th Streets.
In Eugene, cars will be stationed on Charnelton Street between W. Broadway and 10th Avenue, also on Patterson Street near E 17th Avenue and finally on Hilyard Street near E 11th Avenue.
To rent the “WeCar,” members pay between $5 and $8 dollars an hour, which includes the cost of gas, a designated parking spot to pick-up and drop-off the car and - most importantly - damage and liability coverage or insurance. The final price to drive is dependent on which plan a member takes part. One plan includes up to 200 miles in the cost, the other bills drivers per mile driven. Rental fees ultimately pay for the program, which is run by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
To help start the program, though, ODOT gave LTD’s “Point-2-Point Solutions” program a grant. The grant is paying for reduced fees to help entice drivers to join in.
For the first year, WeCar is waving the $20 application fee and reducing the annual membership from $50 to $25. Drivers also get a $35 driving credit when becoming a member in Eugene-Springfield.
Springfield’s Chamber of Commerce helped cut the ribbon on Thursday, applauding the program as a way to get even more people on the go who normally might not be able to afford it.
“It'll put people behind the wheel who would never have been able to do that and let them spend their money in our shops and let them do other things that will boost the local economy,” says Dan Egan, Director of the Springfield Chamber.
Meanwhile, Enterprise hopes that the program works to entice those who want to have less impact on the environment.
“Those who embrace alternate transportation are now able to truly get rid of their personal vehicle or use this as a secondary vehicle,” says Beth Wheeler, Director of Business Rental Sales and the WeCar program for Enterprise Holdings.
To access the rented cars, drivers just swipe a card across a card reader on the dashboard. The car will unlock from there, but only unlock if you have reserved it. All four cars available are Ford Fusions.
To learn more about the car sharing program, click the following link: http://www.wecar.com/content/car-sharing/en_US/join-wecar/program-details-eugenespringfield.html.