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Salem Watch: Car-sharing bill passes House committee 7-1

Posted by on March 10th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

The bill would open up the Oregon
market for personal car sharing
services like Getaround.

HB 3149, a bill that would make it easier for personal car-sharing programs to start in Oregon, passed the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee by a vote of 7-1 yesterday. As we shared last fall, “peer-to-peer” car-sharing is a growing trend across the U.S. and there’s a lot of potential for more of it in Oregon.

The bill itself would make the practice easier by prohibiting insurance companies from cancelling or altering a policy simply because the vehicle is a part of a personal vehicle sharing network.

P2P car-sharing is similar to rental services like Zipcar, but instead of signing up for the service with a company, you rent time on a car directly from private citizens. GetAround.com is one popular service that is already eyeing the Oregon market.

The upside for bike and sustainable transportation advocates is that if more people have the ability to borrow a car only when they need it, they’ll be more selective in taking trips and they won’t have to purchase a car for themselves. More sharing means fewer cars on the road. It would also expand the car-sharing market, which would allow more Oregon families to live without a car of their own (and all the associated costs).

You can learn more about car-sharing in Oregon on the excellent Sightline blog.

HB 3149 will now move to a vote on the House floor and then it’s onto the Senate. The bill is sponsored by House Representative Ben Cannon (D-Portland) and Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland).

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  • Paul Hanrahan March 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    This is really, really great. My car does sit 95% of the time. Instead of it sucking money from me, I would love to be making money off of it!

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    • Jack March 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      +1. I’ve read about people making upwards of $800/month in these programs. Subtract the insurance and maintenance costs and thats still a fantastic return.

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  • Maren March 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    This is so cool!

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  • JR March 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Fantastic! This is why I love having Ben Cannon represent my district.

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  • Joe Suburban March 11, 2011 at 12:05 am

    I got a 1982 diesel Suburban, with a KBB value of ~ $1200. I would not place it in this sharing program, in spite of its’ low value. Thing is, nobody knows it’s finicky antics and quirks. Do people know how to start a diesel, wait for the glowplugs to warm up, turn it on, blue cloud of smoke emerges, wait for the high idle to become regular idle, etc.? I would not be surprised if somebody would will fill it up with gasoline! Then what’s the chance somebody will do a pot or meth run up I5 with it? Some things people share are gross, like prostitutes, public transit or public housing.

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    • Jack March 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

      The bill does not require you to participate in a car sharing program.

      I’m sure fire departments will not be enrolling their fire trucks in the program either.

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  • Steve B March 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Awesome! I think this will help folks get rid of their extra cars, and I really like the concept of sharing a car among a handful of households. Makes sense!

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  • Jessica Roberts March 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Many of these programs allow you to limit who can rent your car. So, you could limit it to just your family, neighbors, and friends if you like. You also rate both car owners and renters, so there is a high motivator to treat the car well and get a good rating. I imagine if someone did do a “meth run up I-5” (and seriously, it sounds like you watch too much TV news!), they would get a bad rating and be unable to rent other cars.

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