Car sharing dashes into Pleasanton

PLEASANTON — Whether you need to rush to the store, dash to class or get the heck out of dodge, one nonprofit is bringing its signature mode of shared transportation to the Tri-Valley area.

Short-term car rental service City CarShare unveiled “Dash,” the Tri-Valley’s first car-sharing program Wednesday afternoon.

The program will launch at of the Hacienda Business Park, but City CarShare hopes to expand into the surrounding areas.

City CarShare CEO Rick Hutchinson said:

“We are working towards our goal to take 20,000 cars off Bay Area roads by 2020 while promoting and encouraging transit, carpooling and walking. … If you do drive your car into work or other places, now you have a very green option.”

Toyota donated 30 new Scion IQ electric cars to the effort, ideal for short-distance commuting because of its limited 40-mile range. Toyota spokesperson Craig Scott said:

“Toyota is exploring new business models like the City CarShare “Dash” fleet to fit the future mobility needs of our customers. The Scion iQ fleet will help us understand how electric vehicles are used in an active car sharing program and the viability of this type of program for future technologies.”

The Dash program is meant to reduce emissions. Since 2001, City CarShare said it has saved 487 million pounds of Co2 gases.

During the opening ceremony, Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne said his city has built electric car charging stations in the downtown area as well as other areas within Pleasanton:

“Pleasanton and Hacienda are extremely excited about the launch of this program which will offer more convenience to thousands of commuters in our city each day. The opportunity for exposure to the new Scion iQ should bolster program appeal and dovetail with the city’s goals.”

The City CarShare program offers more than the just the electric Scion. The company plans to add Toyota Priuses to their Tri-Valley fleet to serve residents with more demanding commutes.

City CarShare monthly memberships range from $20/month for heavy users to $50/year more occasional drivers. The higher the monthly cost, the lower the hourly rate for the cars. Hourly rates range from $5 to $11.25, depending on your membership and the type of vehicle.

Rates vary, though insurance, fuel, maintenance and roadside assistance is always included.

The company says they have over 15,000 members and that more than 43,000 people have made use of the program. There are 240 Bay Area locations and 440 fuel efficient and plug in vehicles that range from the Scion iQ, to the Subaru Outback, Mini Cooper and more.