Economic Development, Government, and Sustainability

Car share program coming

August 14, 2015
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(As seen on WZZM TV 13) Before the first snowfall this winter, the Grand Rapids Parking Commission hopes to have a signed agreement with Enterprise CarShare for 10 cars to be located in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Parking Commission sees a car-share program as vital to Grand Rapids’ multimodal future.

Car-share programs have been implemented in cities across the country, including in Ann Arbor. They provide an alternative to owning a car by allowing individuals to rent a vehicle by the hour.

Pamela Ritsema, managing director of Parking Services, said each car included in a car-share program can replace the need for up to 10 individual vehicles.

The Enterprise CarShare program would require an annual membership fee as well as an hourly rate to use a vehicle. Ritsema said the hourly rate still was being determined but would likely be in the range of $8-$14 per hour.

Members can make reservations online. They are billed at the end of each session based on how long the car was in use.

The 10 vehicles under consideration all would be parked in dedicated on-street spaces throughout the city, with the locations of the exact spaces still to be determined.

The agreement under consideration would guarantee Enterprise CarShare receives a minimum of $900 in revenue per car per month. If that revenue was not achieved, the city of Grand Rapids, through Parking Services, would pay the difference.

The DDA and The Rapid have agreed to be co-guarantors of the minimum revenue requirement.

If revenues exceed $1,200 per month per vehicle, Enterprise CarShare will pay the city 25 percent of hourly personal usage revenue, which will be shared with the DDA and The Rapid.

The total per-year revenue guarantee is $108,000.

Additionally, the parking spaces for the 10 cars would be provided to Enterprise without cost.

Ritsema said the value of those spaces over the course of a year is $30,000.

She noted future agreements likely would see a decrease in the revenue guarantee amount as well as a requirement that Enterprise pay for the parking spaces for its cars.

The initial agreement would be for three years, with a required 90-day notice for early cancellation.

Parking commissioners decided to delay a vote on recommending the agreement to city commissioners to allow for the city attorney to review it and make a few suggested changes, but the expectation is that the agreement will be signed this fall.

Enterprise CarShare was chosen because it already offers two car-share vehicles at Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus.

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