Svante and Wilson

For release:

Whether you’re an Ithaca native, come into town for work from a surrounding village, a Cornell or Ithaca College student or a regular summer visitor; no doubt you recognize the cars with the green and blue windmill logo. “Born” five years ago, in June 2008, Ithaca Carshare is a result of community members coming together to create a vision. With NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development Authority), Cornell, Ithaca College, and other support, carsharing in a small Upstate city became a reality.

Ithaca Carshare, a transit-oriented service, offers self-serve access to vehicles when needed, without the ongoing high cost of ownership. This model makes independent transportation affordable to more people, supports everyday bus riding, bicycling and walking, and is also a reliable back-up for bus commuters, carpoolers and single car families. “Carshare has made a huge difference in my life! I save a lot of time compared to riding the bus for everything, and a ton of money compared to buying a car,” says member Christine Stenglein. Ithaca Carshare launched with six cars and a truck serving about 60 members in 2008, and five years later has grown to 1300 members served by a fleet over three times that size, with 23 vehicles, including a minivan and that same pickup truck.

Of these 23 vehicles, four of the originals remain. Members often know them by their names, Nissan Versas Virginia, Dino, and Champ and Beau the pickup have helped with over 16,000 trips, logging almost 250,000 miles. “Ithaca Carshare has helped relieve  parking pressure downtown and in Collegetown, reduce the number of student vehicles, and reduce local businesses’ vehicle cost.,”  says Operations Director Anna Cook. Transit-oriented carsharing reduces high car expenses and environmental impacts by spreading ownership, insurance, and maintenance costs over many users.  Ithaca Carshare has helped reduce car ownership in Ithaca by over 300 vehicles, and this spring reduced environmental impacts even further by adding 5 Toyota Prius C hybrids, which have tallied 42 miles per gallon.

To celebrate this milestone, Ithaca Carshare is celebrating in Dewitt Park on Wednesday, June 26, from 4-6 pm. Current, past and future members of Ithaca Carshare are welcome to share stories, pictures, music, cake and more.

Mayor and longtime Ithaca Carshare member Svante Myrick will be on hand to receive an award honoring Ithaca as the “Best Small City for Carsharing,” from international CarSharing Association president Wilson Wood, of Ottawa’s transit-oriented VrtuCar carsharing service.