Minneapolis approves car sharing on city streets

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Minneapolis City Council voted in favor of expanding a car-sharing program that's currently restricted to city parking ramps.

The Star Tribune reports a pilot program will allow several car sharing companies to leave vehicles at on-street parking spots to help encourage residents to ditch their own rides.

Several vendors have been approved to park cars around the city. German company Car2Go, which specializes in two-seat Smart Cars, is proposing a fleet of 250 cars. St. Paul-based HourCar, which uses primarily Priuses, may expand to 70 cars for the program.

The vehicles will be available for pickup and drop-off at legal on-street parking spaces, however some companies may have designated spots.

Car sharing rates range depending on the vendor and typically cover expenses such as maintenance, fuel, insurance and parking fees.

FOX 9 notes that researchers at University of California-Berkeley found one car sharing vehicle can replace as many as 9 to 13 individually owned vehicles on the roads, resulting in reduced traffic congestion, reduced emissions and less demand for parking spaces.

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