Portland Gets Greener

I admit, I was hesitant to believe I was actually going to relieve myself of my car when I moved to Portland. St. Louis definitely requires the car to get to almost anywhere I wanted to go. Plus when I need to haul stuff…you can only carry so much on your back and in your arms. So it was with great relief that I found Flexcar via EcoGeek. From Flexcar's site:

Welcome to a new era in personal transportation. It's called car-sharing and it's incredibly easy! You share access to hundreds of Flexcar vehicles, often within a five-minute walk of your home or work. You reserve a car online or by phone; you drive - to a meeting, to run errands, or to hit the lumber yard; and you return to the car's designated parking space, all for one hourly rate that covers gas, premium insurance and 150 free miles. All you pay for is the drive. How simple is that? Plus, Flexcar is convenient, affordable, reliable, and great for the planet. Join the transportation revolution that washingtonpost.com called the "wave of the future."

I looked at their monthly savings calculator and found the numbers quite pleasant: My average cost of ownership is about $550 per month, mostly depending on the number of miles (which affects gallons of gas purchased and oil changes needed) I drive per month. The cost of Flexcar, based on the number of hours per month, broke down like this: 5 hours per/month 45.00 10 hours per/month 85.00 25 hours per/month 200.00 50 hours per/month 375.00 So even at a high volume clip, I'm still saving $200-$300 a month. Plus, if I reduce my driving to almost none (which is my intention), that's $500 or so a month I get to keep in my account. Granted, there will be other costs, like bus passes and the like, but by and large, I'll be saving $6,000 a year, and that's nothing to scoff at.