Gallery: Getaround revs up Portland launch
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Getaround celebrated its Portland launch Wednesday, presenting Mayor Sam Adams with an oversize replica of its mobile app.
Getaround made its official launch in Portland Wednesday at City Hall, attracting political dignitaries and the city's alternative transportation geeks.
Getaround announced in December it would bring its peer-to-peer car sharing network to Portland. The San Francisco company won a $1.725 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a study in Portland on the effects of car sharing on car-owner behavior.
The service, which uses a Web-based application to allow car owners to list their vehicles as available for rent, launches in Portland with 100 cars in the system and another 150 cars somewhere in the process of being added. Getaround provides insurance to cover the cars in its system and users can rent by the hour. The car owner sets the hourly rate and Getaround makes its money by taking a healthy cut.
|View a gallery from Wednesday's launch hoopla|
Getaround CEO Sam Zaid said the company's mission is to reduce car overpopulation by providing a way for cars to be used during the average 22 hours every car sits idle every day.
Zaid said he hopes the study will surface new data about car sharing.
"We think it makes consumers aware of the marginal costs of driving and the opportunity costs of driving," Zaid said.
Mark Frohnmayer, CEO of Eugene-based electric vehicle company Arcimoto and member of the Oregon Transportation Commission, said he attended the launch to show support for Getaround. But he also said he's in discussion with the company about the possibility of adding some three-wheeled Arcimoto vehicles to the Getaround system.
While the peer-to-peer service is set up for owners to rent to drivers, the system also provides a way to give exposure to new vehicles.
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