Mpls. may test drive car sharing pilot program

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The Minneapolis Public Works Department is exploring the possibility of launching a car sharing program this spring, which allows pre-approved users to rent cars parked around the city for a couple hours or a few days, Southwest Journal reports.

"Car sharing has been known to reduce the need for car ownership," according to a staff report -- which will be discussed at the Transportation and Public Works Committee meeting on Tuesday. "One car sharing vehicle can replace as many as nine to 13 individually owned vehicles, resulting in reduced congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and need for parking supply."

HOURCAR, a private car sharing operator, already offers the service in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The Star Tribune says car sharing is becoming more popular in transit-friendly cities, such as Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The Business Journal notes Minneapolis has had a similar bike-sharing program for three years called Nice Ride -- which will expand to downtown St. Paul and Harriet Island later this year.

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