California Launches Free Electric CarShare Pilot Program

Sacramento Launches Electric Vehicle CarShare Program in Three Affordable Housing Communities

In partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (AQMD), Policy in Motion is pleased to announce the launch of Our Community CarShare Sacramento, a new electric carsharing pilot program serving disadvantaged communities. This Sacramento AQMD program is funded by California Climate Investments: Cap-and-Trade Dollars at Work and operated by Zipcar with the goal of increasing access to zero-emission vehicles and enhancing clean mobility options.

Our Community CarShare provides hundreds of residents in three Sacramento affordable housing complexes with free access to eight electric Kia Souls. Six of the zero-emission vehicles are stationed at the residential communities and two additional vehicles will be available for reservation by registered users at the Sacramento Valley Train Station.

Eligible residents of Alder Grove, Edgewater, and Mutual Housing at Lemon Hill will have access to these exclusive community cars for short trips like errands, appointments, and meetings. The first 300 qualifying members will receive a free membership and may use the cars up to three times a week, with a maximum three hours reservation period (9 hours per week total). Zipcar operates the reservation system and will maintain the fleet. Residents are currently signing up for the program at www.ourcarshare.orgor with printed surveys at our workshops, and will soon be reserving the vehicles using Zipcar.com or self-service kiosks on site. There will be no cost to use Our Community CarShare for the residents.

Photos, articles, and videos from the press event and community outreach can be found on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/ourcarshare. Here’s what some of the residents are saying about the program:

“I can’t wait. It will help a lot of people out who currently have no means of transportation!”

“I’m really excited. I’m going to be the first customer! It helps you feel more independent.”

Policy in Motion partnered on this pilot project to create the unique branding and marketing of Our Community CarShare Sacramento, including the development of the logo and website, www.ourcarshare.org and Facebook.com/ourcarshare. Policy in Motion is also working with the residents at all three communities on outreach and education to help ensure the participants can successfully use the program. This includes generating educational materials regarding carsharing and electric vehicle trip planning — as well as conducting multi-lingual workshops on the membership process involving participant eligibility, surveys, and program-specific Zipcar registration. Additional trainings will take place to help residents understand how to charge, use, and reserve the cars. Other elements of the program outreach include the development of site-specific information binders for on-site housing staff, working individually with staff to understand the program, and identifying resident “Community Ambassadors” at each location who are volunteer champions for the program, assisting other residents and helping to monitor that the cars are plugged in when parked. Policy in Motion is also tracking the successes and challenges in implementing this innovative pilot project so that the program may expand and improve in future years and be replicated in other cities.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) provided a $1.3 million grant through California Climate Investments, a statewide program that invests cap-and-trade proceeds, particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD was awarded the project funding through a competitive grant process.

“Our Community CarShare Sacramento provides access to clean, free transportation to residents of disadvantaged communities,” said Larry Greene, Sacramento AQMD’s Executive Director. “Mobility is vitally important in today’s economy, and bringing zero-emission transportation options to all residents is critical to protecting air quality and health.”

Other program partners include Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, Mutual Housing California, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and the City of Sacramento.

“All Californians deserve to have access to the very cleanest vehicles, especially in the neighborhoods that need them the most,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “This investment is a triple play: It helps clean the air, fights climate change and improves the quality of life for those who live in these communities. That’s a good use of cap-and-trade proceeds by any measure.”

Vehicle emissions contribute more than 70 percent of the pollutants that form ground-level ozone in Sacramento. The region does not meet federal health standards for ozone. High ozone concentrations trigger asthma attacks and damage lungs. Reducing transportation emissions is Sacramento’s best path toward protecting air quality.

The Sacramento Metropolitan AQMD protects air quality on behalf of the residents of Sacramento County. For more information, visit airquality.org.

California Climate Investments

Our Community CarShare Sacramento is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit www.caclimateinvestements.ca.gov.

 

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Lauren Michele, Principal / Founder, Policy in Motion 

Policy in Motion offers planning practitioners, policy makers, and public agencies an understanding of how to integrate sustainability policy into transportation infrastructure and land use decisions. Lauren Michele’s 2011 book, “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32″ explores the State’s evolving policies for sustainable living through transportation planning. Lauren’s 2012 film documentary, “Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities” continues to explore how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding based on “People-Oriented Development” (POD) can improve community quality of life while meeting California’s environmental and economic goals. Policy in Motion’s book and film are available for purchase on-line at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and www.policyinmotion.com.

 

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