Friday, April 23, 2010

Car-sharing plan launches in downtown Nashville

Nissans are available hourly or overnight downtown By Anne Paine • THE TENNESSEAN • April 23, 2010 Don't own a car? Share one. The WeCar made its debut downtown Thursday at Fourth and Commerce Street with a few remarks by Mayor Karl Dean and then a ride-along in one of the program's Nissan Cubes. "If you live downtown and need a car, the WeCar is for you," said Tom Turner with the Nashville Downtown Partnership. "This is car sharing made simple." A person also can grab a bus or bicycle to go downtown and then avail themselves of one of the cars that will be at four locations. Businesses can use them, too. The program helps make downtown living more attractive, giving residents the option of occasional car use as needed. Their mainstay can be public transportation, walking, bicycling or other less-polluting forms of getting places. Fewer car owners also may mean less traffic and fewer jammed parking lots. A similar program called Zipcar was unveiled two years ago on the Belmont and Vanderbilt University campuses and is still operating there. The choices with WeCar include the Nissan Cube and Nissan Rogue, available for hourly or overnight rental with prices starting at $8 an hour. That covers fuel, insurance and maintenance. Drivers must be 21 and over. Dean urged people to use the car, which he called "a major step forward" for the city. "Give it a try," he said. Online reservations Run by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, members make reservations online to use a car and they have a card that is scanned to unlock the car and get the key from the glove compartment. There's a $20 application fee and an annual membership fee of $50. There will be four cars to start with — one at each location. If demand grows, more could be added. The locations where the cars can be found are: • Southeast corner of Fourth and Commerce • 211 Union St. • 209 10th Ave. S. • The Gulch on 11th Avenue South, near the intersection of 12th Avenue South

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