Car sharing has come to West Hollywood with the opening of LAXCarShare, and their car sharing program might just save you money over owning your own car.
The company has opened a location at the Hancock Lofts building, at the corner of Hancock and Santa Monica Blvd., and members of the program can use a car when needed for just $7 per hour. The cost includes gas and insurance.
Owning a car can be expensive. When you add up the monthly outlay for car payments, gas, insurance and maintenance, you might find yourself spending well in excess of $500 per month. The cost can be even higher when you think about West Hollywood’s infamous parking tickets, depreciation and any interest and financing costs. And don’t forget the fees you pay to the DMV.
Car sharing could offer substantial savings for people who spend most of their time in West Hollywood, and only need a car for errands and such. At $7 per hour, you could be using an LAXCarShare vehicle for a couple of hours per day and still be spending less than $500 per month.
If you don’t use a car every day, or can sometimes use mass transportation, you might shave hundreds of dollars off even that amount.
In fact, Melissa Hebert, the LAXCarShare Director of Operations, wants to encourage use of mass transit and said in an interview with StreetsBlog that complimenting mass transit and Metro is a conscious aim of their business model.
“I would love to see more individuals taking public transportation at least 1-2 times per week, to work,” she said in the interview.
How does it work? Simply sign up as a member and you will be sent an electronic key fob for your key ring. Then, after reserving a car on the web or over the phone, you pick up the car at one of the LAXCarShare locations. There is no hassle at the location: you simply walk up to the car and open the doors with the key fob on your key ring and drive away.
Car sharing is good for the environment. Each car share vehicle can remove up to 15 personal vehicles off the roads. Not only is pollution reduced from normal driving, but by replacing the need to buy a car, there are reductions in pollution from manufacturing and transporting vehicles for sale (along with a reduction in natural resources used as material to build the cars).
Plus, each person who opts to use car sharing over owning a vehicle results in one fewer car being parked on our streets or in lots when not in use. West Hollywood is only two square miles in size, and if you look around, a tremendous amount of that space is being used for parking.
If LAXCarShare even signs up a modest 500 people who would otherwise own a car, that would free up more parking space than is being constructed in two parking garages at the new West Hollywood Library. It would take 3 to 4 acres of land to construct a surface level parking lot with capacity for 500 vehicles (and a high percentage of West Hollywood resident cars are parked on the street or in surface level parking).
And wouldn’t it be nice to be looking at more green space or other interesting uses of land instead of cars stuffed everywhere one turns in our city?
On the Web
- Street Profile: Melissa Hebert of LAX Carshare – StreetsBlog
- LAX CarShare arrives in West Hollywood – EyeOnWeho
- Car sharing returns to Los Angeles neighborhoods – Green LA Girl
- LAXCarShare Official Site