Friday, April 06, 2018

Carsharing Portland Timeline

This is a short chronology of CarSharing Portland and the start of carsharing in the US, based on announcements in CSP member newsletters and other documents.

Pre 1996
1985 - Russell Martin works for the Short Term Auto Rental (STAR) project, an UMTA funded
demonstration program at Park Merced housing complex in San Francisco
1994 - Benoit Robert starts nonprofit carshare in Quebec City which became CommunAuto in
1995, a for profit company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Rain Magazine (Eugene) publishes extended interview with Carsten Petersen and
Markus Petersen, founders of StattAuto Berlin; another article describes the
formation of the Eugene Carshare Cooperative (which apparently only had 1 old
VW Beetle);  these articles had significant influence on Dave Brook.
Various articles appear in US newspapers about carsharing in Europe during the decade.

Richard Katzev arranges for trip to US by Conrad Wagner of Switzerland
December – Proposal to DEQ by BTA, Research Into Action and Scott Engineering:
        Feasibility and Business Planning for Car Sharing/Mobility Services in Portland, Oregon
Conrad Wagner, Switzerland speaks at public meetings in Portland
Cooperative Auto Network (coop) launched in Vancouver, BC, Canada
April – Research Into Action, Scott Engineering and Rex Burkholder submit
        Focus Group Summary Report Car Sharing in Portland, Oregon
July – Research Into Action, Scott Engineering and Rex Burkholder submit 2 reports to COP/DEQ:
        Market Feasibility Study: Car Sharing in Portland, Oregon
        Business Planning Study: Car Sharing in Portland, Oregon
August - CSP submits proposal to DEQ for Implementation and Evaluation of a Pilot Car
Sharing/Mobility Service in Portland, Oregon
September – CSP Business Plan to Oregon DEQ regarding Car Share Pilot Project
        First brainstorming of slogans from Hucksters
December - DEQ issues RFP for Carsharing/Mobility Service; 2 week response deadline
Hiring Russell Martin
Other activities during the year: Securing insurance via VPSI, from Dreyfuss Ney

January - Membership recruitment events; TV coverage
February 28, 1998 official launch of CarSharing Portland Inc.
16 members, 2 Dodge Neons,
Rates: $1.50 per hour + 30¢ per mile; $500 security deposit;
No hourly fee from midnight to 6 am (only mileage charges)
June – Buckman Heights partnership
Conrad Wagner speaks in Portland again
Vehicle reservations shifted to telephone answering service
July – Toyota Tacoma pickup truck added to Buckman Heights location
(forced relocation of lockboxes outside of the cars)
August – Rate adjustment: $1.50 ;per hour + 40¢ per mile (first 40 miles, then 15¢ per mile)
First downtown location – PSU, SW 3rd & Harrison
October – 79 members; 6 vehicles at 5 locations
November - 88 members
Overnight (no hourly fee) extended 11 pm to 7 am
December – Security deposit lowered to $250
Daily rate introduced: $45/day (including gas)

January – shorter Trip Ticket format introduced; customer feedback questions removed
$10 per month membership fee introduced
100 members
February – Dr. Richard Katzev delivers interim report on CSP activity
Status Report of Carsharing Portland (CSP): The First Nine Months
Carsharing exempted from Multnomah County Rental Car Tax
March – CARS phone reservation system introduced; originally developed by Ron Wilder,
Wilder Engineering, Campbell, Calif. for flying clubs to schedule plane rental
April – Fleet gas cards introduced
First yellow Hucksters marketing brochures
July – Richard Katzev presents first year evaluation study showing significant reductions in member car ownership, car usage
September – 200 members
First Dodge Neons replaced
October – Hired car cleaner
Five trips in the same car in one day - a new record

January – Honda Insight added to fleet; first hybrid in carsharing fleet (Pearl District location)
February – first 2 cars in Pearl District; partnership with Hoyt Street Properties
March – PSU student evaluation: Carsharing: The Missing Link
First Saturn cars added to the fleet
17 locations, 18 vehicles
New brochures released
April – Flexcar, Seattle, and Zipcar, Boston, launched
July – Single phone number for office and CARS reservations instituted 872-9882
300 members
October – Dodge Caravan, first minivan added to the fleet

January – rate increase from $1.50 to $2.00 per hour; distance same at 40¢/mile
Daily Rate Camp ended; members encouraged to use Enterprise 15% discount
Vehicle “stolen” and recovered 2 weeks later; was actually “misplaced” by a member
March – 500 members
Original Toyota Tacoma pickup replaced with Mazda B2500
July – first announcement to members about future Flexcar merger
August – Amtrak Cascades 10% discount
September - Maren announces her departure

October – CSP rebranded as Flexcar; first Honda Civics introduced