Just in time for the long weekend, car-sharing enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest got a great victory: The Oregon Senate Transportation and Economic Development Committee unanimously approved HB3149, a bill to establish Personal Vehicle Car Sharing, at its work session last Thursday.
The bill, which would make it legal for private residents to rent their vehicle to friends or neighbors without increased insurance rates or loss of their policy, breezed through the Oregon House back in early April.
“Vehicles sit idle 92 percent of the time," said Ben Cannon (D-Portland), co-sponsor of the bill. " 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."
Although it may seem like a new concept, peer-to-peer car sharing has been gathering steam for some time now.
Back in early 2010, Jeremey Adam Smith shared findings from the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan that showed more people are sharing cars now than ever before, and it's easy to see why:
Consumers benefit from car sharing by being relieved of ownership costs. Frost & Sullivan research shows that an average car owner who drives 12,000 miles a year at an average driving speed of 30 miles per hour can save US$ 1,834 by shifting to a car-sharing service. Commuters who drive less than 12,000 miles can save more.
California, a state that has struggled to manage its traffic and air pollution, passed the nation's first P2P car-sharing legislation into law in September of 2010. It was predicted that the new law would accelerate the growth of the already fast growing car-sharing industry, and Oregon's bill is the first to fulfill that prophecy.
HB3149 will now head back to Oregon's full Senate for final consideration and is expected to come before lawmakers as early as this week.
If passed, the bill will be a boon to existing P2P car-sharing services like JustShareIt, Spride Share, RelayRides, and Getaround whose growth has been somewhat limited by complicated insurance policies.
If you'd like to start a carsharing program in your community, check out: