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Salem Watch: Car-sharing bill passes House (and other updates)

Posted by on March 21st, 2011 at 1:40 pm

“Car sharing families drive demonstrably less than car-owning families, less driving means less congestion and less pollution.”
— Sen. Jackie Dingfelder

House Bill 3149, which would make it easier for Oregonians to share their cars with others, passed the House today by a vote of 47-10. The bill would allow a car owner to rent out their car to friends or neighbors through a car-sharing service without fear of increased insurance rates or loss of policy.

The bill’s chief sponsors are Representative Ben Cannon (D-Portland) and Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland). In a prepared statement following today’s vote, Rep. Cannon said,

“Vehicles sit idle 92% of the time. Peer-to-peer car sharing is a free-market concept that allows car owners to recoup costs of car ownership, while those without cars are able to rent a vehicle in their own neighborhood.”


The upside for active transportation advocates is that when more people share cars instead of owning their own, the result is fewer car trips. According to Sen. Dingfelder, “Car sharing families drive demonstrably less than car-owning families, less driving means less congestion and less pollution.”

If the bill passes (it must now go to the Senate), San Franciso-based car-sharing service Getaround has said they would begin operating in Oregon.

In other news from Salem…

Senate Bill 846, which seeks to improve the safety of bicycle trailers designed for human passengers, will get a public hearing and possible vote in the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee on March 31st (3:00 pm, Hearing Room B). This bill was proposed by Eugene Democrat Floyd Prozanski. Get more background on this bill in our story from March 3rd.

Senate Bill 424, which would amend Oregon’s crosswalk law to clarify when someone trying to cross a street has the “intent to proceed,” will get a public hearing and possible vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. We covered this bill back in February and have been told it has been significantly amended from its current form. We’ll update this story when we receive the new language.

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Comments
  • dan March 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Not really attractive for our car, the dirtbag’s limousine: Subaru Outback wagon. I would expect anyone who borrowed it to ride it hard and put it away wet.

    Now, if I were to buy a 2nd car that was a beater/used compact for around town use, this could pay it off…wonder what kind of rates people will charge.

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  • Jessica Roberts March 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    The rates you charge are totally up to you, but Bay Area prices seem to be around $8/hour. I could see it being lower here as we don’t have similar parking costs/limitations. Also you can limit who you rent to as much as you like, so you could only let your trusted bike riding buddies rent it for MTB trips, for example.

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  • q`Tzal March 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Heck, I’d rent an ugly beater truck as long as it goes.
    Large pieces of lumber aren’t easy to move with a compact car.

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    • Paul in the 'couve March 22, 2011 at 8:33 am

      Yes, I’ve always thought how STUPID it is that half the guys in my neighborhood own trucks and most of them sit in the driveway weeks at a time, but we can’t share! I’d love to make my truck a “Neighborhood Truck” and have it available for anyone to use when they need to haul.

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      • wsbob March 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

        You’ve tried meeting the neighbor…asking whether you might rent his truck for the day? He might even let you use it just to be neighborly.

        Does insurance provided by sharing services such as “…San Franciso-based car-sharing service Getaround …”, cover the owner of the car for damages resulting from the renter running the car out of water or oil?. Does the car sharing service come by to make sure the car is clean after its been rented out?

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        • Jessica Roberts March 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

          My neighbors do offer to let me borrow their cars, but if something were to happen, their insurance would be on the hook and their rates would increase. That’s not a risk I’m often willing to take on.

          And no, Getaround doesn’t make sure the car is clean – they rely on users rating each other to take care of bad behavior. They report it’s working very well – renters are leaving treats and CDs to make sure they get a good rating, and car owners are making sure things are tidy and the gas tank is full. Damages are currently being handled informally (the only time it has come up Getaround compensated the owner – but as you can imagine, that borrower got a very bad rating and probably can’t borrow cars in the future), but I imagine as they grow they will formalize a damages reimbursement and responsibility policy.

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  • Racer X March 22, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I am waiting for Folz’s Sprinter van to be on the sharing network. :)

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  • Shiv Trehan March 22, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    We support this bill and happy to be part of Dave Brooks city as car sharing is a concept that should not have any boundaries to grow. It is an idea and vision to bring people closer together and help community and environment. We are also planning the launch in Oregon very soon but bigger than just car sharing. Oregonians please be ready to have a great adventure to share your underutilized assets like boats, RV’s, motorcycles, cars, jetski etc.


    Shiv Trehan
    Dir, Business Development
    http://www.JustShareIt.com
    1855-SHARE-00

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