Sunday, March 20, 2011

Relay Rides and Carsharing

I'm about to embark on a vicarious adventure of sharing my car as an Owner through Relay Rides, a company started in Boston to share your own private vehicle to Borrowers. This works just like your local carsharing company but instead of borrowing their company owned cars, you borrow someone's private vehicle often called peer-to-peer sharing/borrowing. This service can be seen to be part of the collaborative consumption movement whose followers subscribe to the idea that responsible consumers work to lessen their use of resources, especially resource intensive usage such as car ownership and use, through social networks often facilitated online. Just like carsharing companies, your hourly rental fee includes insurance and gas, and a great advantage is there is no monthly fee for the Borrower. As an Owner, I make money based on how much my car is available and how much I decide to charge per hour.

As an environmentalist, why I would do this?
  • My environmental work requires me to carry passengers, equipment, and supplies far from public transportation on sometimes muddy, hard-to-pass roads, and so my car serves as my company vehicle.
  • When I'm not working and at home in central San Francisco, my car just sits in the parking lot, so why not let other folks use it? If you as a Borrower only need a car once in while, this keeps you from buying a car and maintaining it - payments, storage/parking, gas, maintenance, registration, and insurance.
  • As someone who's been temporarily disabled and has not always been a car owner, I understand that sometimes public transportation is just not the best choice for getting around.
  • Sharing the freedom with others: getting outside the city, traveling during hours with limited public transportation, moving stuff, transporting stuff (lots of groceries, furniture, sports equipment), hanging out with friends and family, etc.
  • Last but not least, we all know as hard-working folks who aren't independently wealthy that living in SF is not cheap, but we love it here, so hopefully I can make a little extra towards maintaining and keeping a car (insurance, gas, and registration). Besides that, I make monthly and annual donations to my favorite non-profits, so the funds help in my own personal philanthropy/tithe department.
*** If you decide to sign up, please say Myla sent you.

As a thank you from me to you, here are promo codes:

Borrowers - No signup fees + $25 Driving credit: Borrow1

Owners - Free installation: Own1

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Oh yeah, want to know what kind of car I have? I have a 2011 Subaru Forester, a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV). Special shout out to the folks at Modesto Subaru!

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