Car Sharing Arrives In Portland By End Of Year

By Carol McCracken

Hill resident Matti Gurney testified in favor of a proposal put forward by the city’s transportation committee that could reduce the amount of downtown car traffic as well as serve as transportation for those who may be uninterested in car ownership.

Gurney works on Marginal Way and his wife works at the University of Southern Maine, Portland. The couple has a new baby. The couple has one car. Gurney said he’s been excited about this idea since the get-go because he can foresee times when his family might need another car. He testified before the city council last night urging it to support this plan. It did.

The plan goes like this: four PT cruisers will be stationed at two different sites in the city in parking spots designated for those vehicles specifically. Members of the car sharing program can reserve the use of one vehicle for $10. an hour. That fee covers the cost of gas, maintenance, insurance and parking. Reservations can be made on-line. The fee is bigger for longer uses of the vehicle. When the customer is finished with the vehicle, it must be returned to the original designated parking spot – which would be located at the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal and Monument Square.

City councilor Kevin Donoghue is chair of the transportation committee.