, Daimler's car sharing
program that has been operating in Ulm, Germany, has announced that it has added the State of Texas to its pilot program. Under the pilot program, state employees will have access to the car sharing network as well as special reserved parking spaces at the Capitol Complex.
The pilot program, signed between car2go and the Texas State Preservation Board as well as the Texas Council on Competitive Government, is similar to the program in effect in the city of Austin
. The program will help the State of Texas display its sustainable mobility goals and will bring recognition to the car2go car sharing system.
The car2go program utilizes the eco-friendly Smart fortwo
as the only vehicle in its lineup. Users can drive the vehicles for as long as needed and park in one of the car2go parking spaces when they no longer need access to the vehicle. The program allows many users to simply rent a vehicle on demand and eliminates personal ownership of vehicles. The car2go program kicked off in November of 2009 in Austin, TX
for city employees. Usage of the car sharing program will be available to the general public later this year. Follow the jump for the entire release.
car2go, Austin's new mobility program, announced today a new six month pilot partnership with the State of Texas that gives state employees access to the car sharing program and parking spots located at the Capitol Complex. The agreement, signed with the Texas State Preservation Board (SPB) and the Texas Council on Competitive Government (CCG), is a major step in finding new transportation solutions for the State of Texas while extending car2go's presence in Austin.
"car2go is pleased to partner with two agencies that are committed to the preservation and effectiveness of the State of Texas," said Nicholas Cole, CEO of car2go North America. "This partnership will allow car2go to expand our downtown Austin presence near the Capitol while allowing thousands of visitors and residents to see the State's commitment to alternative transportation solutions."
The pilot agreement is similar to the partnership between car2go and the City of Austin that started in November 2009. car2go members will be allowed to use on street parking at the Capitol complex at the north end of downtown Austin.
In return for the provided parking, car2go is paying a usage fee to the State of Texas in the form of free driving minutes for SPB and CCG employees driving on State business. Additionally, all state employees can participate with a personal membership immediately, and any state agency can open a car2go company account and drive at standard rates.
"We are very excited to partner with car2go in this innovative program," said John Sneed, executive director of the State Preservation Board. "If this pilot project is as successful as we believe it will be, this program offers a great opportunity for the state to realize long-term cost-savings."
Partnering with SPB and CCG will benefit car2go members in several ways: the pilot agreement will secure additional downtown parking for car2go vehicles and increase the program's visibility in the Capitol area. Furthermore, it provides State of Texas employees access to the program, not only for business but also for private use.
The State of Texas will also benefit from partnering with car2go: car2go substantially reduces CO2 emissions by using the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle in the United States, which will help the State reduce its carbon footprint . The partnership will also allow state agencies to experience the efficiency and viability of car2go to determine how car2go can help reduce the need for a large fleet of state vehicles. Finally, the pilot partnership will benefit the State, the City of Austin and surrounding areas by reducing traffic volume.
"The Council is on the lookout for innovative services for the State of Texas," said Dustin Lanier, staff director for the Council on Competitive Government. "car2go fits the bill with an innovative business model that has a good chance to be a part of the state fleet solution. We look forward to getting the program underway."
About the State Preservation Board (SPB)
The State Preservation Board (SPB) is responsible for preserving and maintaining the State Capitol, the General Land Office Building and the Governor's Mansion and their grounds for the benefit of the citizens of Texas. The SPB operates the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and provides educational programs centered on Texas history. The SPB also operates and maintains the Capitol Visitors Garage and parking meters in a 36 square block area of the Capitol Complex. More information can be found at www.tspb.state.tx.us.
About the Texas Council on Competitive Government (CCG)
In 1993, the Texas Legislature created the Council on Competitive Government (CCG) in response to a growing interest in making government more efficient, cost-effective, and competitive. The Council represents key members of state leadership, with the statutory empowerment to drive fundamental change. The Council on Competitive Government exists to advance government transformation efforts in the state of Texas. Government transformation efforts are projects that reexamine the method of delivering services in ways that improve efficiency, effectiveness and results that are relevant to citizens. The CCG consists of the following seven council members: Governor Rick Perry (Council Chair); Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs; Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst; Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus; Texas General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Patterson; Commissioner of Labor from the Texas Workforce Commission Ronald Gene Congleton; and Texas Facilities Commission Executive Director Terry Keel. More information at: www.ccg.state.tx.us
About car2go NA, LLC
car2go is an innovative mobility program with its North American headquarters in Austin, Texas. car2go revolutionizes urban transportation by offering an extensive fleet of environmental-friendly smart fortwo vehicles available to rent "on demand". Unlike other car sharing programs members may use the vehicle for as long as they like, without committing to a specific time to return the vehicle. Members can finish their rental in any designated car2go parking spot or any available public parking space within the defined business area. Launched in November 2009 in Austin, TX as a Daimler pilot project, car2go has established several pilot partnerships and will be opened to the general public in the course of 2010. For more information on car2go please visit us at: www.car2go.com