PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The City of Portland today announced that peer-to-peer car sharing company and 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt NYC winner, Getaround, was selected by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to participate in a joint initiative with the city to use $1,725,000 in federal funding to launch peer-to-peer car sharing in the greater Portland metropolitan area by February of 2012, following an initial launch at Portland State University. In anticipation of the launch, starting today, Portland commuters and car owners can begin signing up for Getaround at http://www.getaround.com.
The FHWA grant in Portland is the first federal grant ever awarded for peer-to-peer car sharing. The selection of Getaround by the FHWA as the car sharing provider for the state’s pilot program was based on Getaround’s novel technology, insurance program and successful track record in enabling car owners to safely and easily share their cars in other metropolitan areas, including the San Francisco Bay Area.
“The City of Portland continues to partner with the private sector, providing new alternatives to expensive personal car ownership. Peer-to-peer car sharing will keep money in Portlanders’ pockets, so I hope you’ll check it out and see whether it works for you,” Portland Mayor Sam Adams said.
As part of the government initiative, Getaround will work closely with the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) to research the dynamics and impacts of peer-to-peer car sharing, making Portland the test bed for peer-to-peer car sharing nationwide. The planned launch in the Portland metropolitan area will take place in February 2012, with a preliminary launch taking place at, and in partnership with, Portland State University on January 1, 2012 to coincide with the enactment of Oregon HB 3149, the landmark legislation enabling personal vehicle sharing in Oregon.
“Since our inception, Getaround has viewed the city of Portland, OR as a perfect place for our service. Residents here have a reputation for being early adopters of innovative ways to solve transportation problems in the U.S., including traffic and pollution,” said Getaround co-founder and CEO, Sam Zaid. “We look forward to bringing the Getaround experience to Oregon to reduce car overpopulation while empowering people to turn a costly asset—which on average sits idle 22 hours per day—into something that can generate sustained revenue.”
Getaround enables car owners to “un-idle” their cars and offset the cost of vehicle ownership by sharing with friends, co-workers and neighbors, while people seeking cars are provided easy, affordable access to vehicles everywhere. Getaround differs from other car sharing services by offering an open marketplace that gives owners total freedom over their vehicle’s pricing, availability and selection of renters. Additionally, the Getaround Carkit and iPhone app together make it easy for members to conduct entire transactions using only their smartphone. The service provides community and financial benefits to both owners and renters, backed by the peace of mind of A++ insurance carrier Berkshire Hathaway.
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Signup: Getaround is totally free for renters and car owners to join with no membership fees. Get answers to frequently asked questions and sign up to participate in the pilot program in Portland, OR, at http://www.getaround.com.
Getaround specializes in providing a seamless, peer-to-peer car sharing experience by providing proprietary smartphone and in-car technology that empowers members to safely and easily share vehicles. For as little as $3 an hour, members can conveniently rent nearby cars by the hour, day, or week, and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on auto payments, insurance, and maintenance. Car owners can offset the high cost of ownership while making a positive impact on the environment. http://www.getaround.com