Electric car share is next for Rochester; city eyes late 2020 launch

Abigail Solis enters Miocar at Highland Gardens in Visalia on Nov. 1, 2019. The electric car-share is available to all residents through a new Valley Air District initiative.

Having a car share program is "the final planned service of the Rochester Shared Mobility Program," reads a request for proposals issued by the city.
The goal is to launch in late fall/winter 2020, officials said. An operator would own, maintain and insure 10 electric vehicles for members to use, 24/7, and be placed in "a variety of socio-economic areas" for easy access. The operator also would have two charging ports.
And members would be able to register, pay and reserve vehicles online and via a mobile application, as well as by other means for those without regular internet access. The city, too, might be able to utilize the cars to supplement its own fleet for general employee use, under an optional add-on included in the proposal request.
The overall goal, however, is to improve transportation options for those without. One in three city residents live below the federal poverty line, and one in four households don't have a car, or access to one, according to the city.
"Access to affordable and reliable transportation is an important determinant of economic status and quality of life," the request for proposals states. "Accordingly, the City views access to car sharing and other shared mobility modes, as an important means to reducing barriers to employment, education, health care, and other quality of life activities."
The city has secured $560,000 in state and federal grants to assist with the project, and also would assist in marketing, identifying station locations, and would provide dedicated parking spaces for car-share vehicles.

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