Log-on. Reserve. Unlock and go. Return. Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s new auto-sharing program along the Wasatch Front makes it that easy to have 24-hour access to a rental vehicle near where people live and work, while also allowing them to use mass transit as their main source of travel.
“The program was designed for people that need to rent a car for a short time or at the end of their transit trip,” says Utah Transit Authority Spokesman Remi Barron. “Maybe they don’t own a car and don’t want to rent a car for the entire day but need a car for that last mile after their transit trip.”
Through a partnership between the UTA, Enterprise, Salt Lake City, the University of Utah and Utah Valley University, cars are now available in about 30 locations around the Salt Lake Valley. Cars can be rented by the hour, by the day, overnight or by the week. The program supplements mass transit much like the GreenBike bicycle-sharing exchange program that city dwellers have embraced.
“Use the car, drop it off, and get back on transit,” says Barron. “It’s another transportation option available to Salt Lake City and Wasatch Front residents and local businesses. If you need to go somewhere where there is no bus or train and you don’t own a car, it will take you where you need to go.”
CarShare requires an annual membership of $40 per year, but Enterprise is waiving the application and membership fees through Jan. 31. Rental rates have also been discounted for a limited time as part of the program rollout. Program details are available at enterprisecarshare.com/car-sharing/program/slc.
Members can reserve a car online for a specific time and place, then pick up the car at one of distribution locations near TRAX and FrontRunner stations, the University of Utah, numerous downtown locations and at Utah Valley University. Membership cards unlock and lock the cars. Rates currently begin at $5 per hour and $75 per day, depending on the make and model. Vehicles must be returned to the same pick-up location.
“We have the experience and resources to make car sharing a success in Salt Lake City,” says Neil Hafer, vice president and general manager for Enterprise in Utah, “because we can pair our signature customer service with clean, well-maintained, up-to-date vehicles, including hybrids and easy-to-use mobile technology. With 30 local rental branch offices throughout the region, we also can offer a lower member-to-car ratio than any other car rental or car-sharing company.”
CarShare came about after discussions between UTA’s planning department and Enterprise. Barron says UTA has offered an auto-sharing program in the past but partnered with Enterprise because of the company’s resources, track record and success with similar programs in other markets. The Utah Department of Transportation’s “TravelWise” program also supports the auto-sharing initiative. TravelWise incorporates a set of strategies aimed at encouraging individuals, businesses and organizations to use alternatives to driving alone and, thereby, reduce energy consumption, optimize mobility and improve air quality.
In announcing the program, Utah General Manager Michael Allegra said Enterprise CarShare offered the most competitively priced option for bringing flexible, affordable car-sharing solutions to the community.
Salt Lake City is the seventh major retail market to offer Enterprise CarShare in the past two years. The company has a strong track record of success in other urban markets like Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Chicago and the program is available in more than 35 states, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Hafer says the CarShare program has grown steadily since its November launch. “We have seen increasing interest in memberships and consistent usage of the vehicles among our new members,” he adds.
Readers interested in more information about CarShare and how it might help their businesses may contact Jamie Clark at (972) 333-7637 or at[email protected].