Carsharing cuts down on personal car use in Ithaca

Carsharing is a way to avoid the hassles, and expenses of a personal car

If you want to cut back on at least one car, or cut down on gas and insurance costs, car sharing may be an option. It's working in Ithaca, and is in development in other communities, including Syracuse.

Jennifer Dotson is executive director of Ithaca Carshare which has a fleet of 19 vehicles (including a pickup truck) to loan on hours' notice. Members 'pay' with credits by the hour and mileage used, and can pick up their vehicles from several Ithaca-area locations. Membership includes car insurance, and, based on AAA estimates, saves about $9,000 a year in insurance, gas and maintenance costs.

Carsharing is an effort at reducing personal car use, not getting rid of personal vehicles totally, says Dotson. Some members have eliminated the need for a second car, or use carsharing for a longer trip when they usually use a bus, or walk to what's needed.

Ithaca Carshare has an incentive to join until June 15th: submit the story on how you're selling your car, and the best will win a year's free membership, plus passes on Ithaca's CAT bus system and more. Click the link above for details.