Hoping it may help the City address gridlock and meet its ambitious goal of no net new PM peak hour vehicle trips, Santa Monica will be partnering with Hertz to try out a pilot car sharing program.
The pilot program, unanimously approved June 25 as part of the city council’s consent, aims to give Santa Monica’s residents, visitors, and workers a car-sharing option to use vehicles only when necessary. Vehicles would be available at strategic locations in an attempt to minimize the amount of time drivers are on the road.
“The addition of a public car sharing service in Santa Monica for visitors, residents, and workers would facilitate choosing transit, biking, walking, or carpooling for primary trips by offering the option of an automobile for trips where a vehicle is necessary,” City staff stated.
Hertz and Santa Monica will run the pilot program for two years. If successful, both parties have the option to renew the program for another three years, potentially making this a five-year relationship.
Those participating in the program would have to become a car-share member. Hertz would provide members with vehicle options and customer service while City Hall offers “at least ten on and/or off-street parking spaces for the program.”
“Development of this program is an essential tool in contributing towards the City’s Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) goal of No Net New PM Peak Hour Vehicle Trips,” City staff stated.
All members would have to be pre-approved in order to participate in the program, City staff added.
Car sharing gained attention in San Francisco more than a decade ago. Santa Monica caught the car-sharing wave in 2005 and “was home to a number of car share vehicles for use by pre-approved members.”
Rates run from $6.50 per weekday hour for an entry-level vehicle to $22 per hour on the high end for a Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, or Dodge Challenger.
An economy vehicle would run $8 per hour and $10 per weekend hour; daily rates would be $76 for a weekday or $90 during the weekend.
Electric vehicles or a Toyota Prius would be pegged at $10.50 per hour on the weekday and $12 per hour during the weekend; daily rates for the same vehicle type run $94.50 during the week and $108 on a Saturday or Sunday.
A Mercedes would run $15 per hour during the week, $16.50 per hour on the weekend, $135 daily between Monday and Friday, and $148.50 daily on Saturdays and Sundays.
All rates include gasoline, insurance coverage, roadside assistance and maintenance. Vehicles would have to be returned to where they were picked up.
In addition to providing 10 specific parking spots for car share program vehicles, City Hall would help Hertz with marketing and advertising efforts. According to City staff, creating signs for the 10 designated parking spaces would cost Santa Monica $1,000.