In an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also giving some Denver residents a new mode of transportation, seven electric car share vehicles are now available to use in six of Denver's under-resourced communities.
Denver's Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency announced its newest addition on Wednesday and said it will subsidize memberships for at least 450 residents in the six communities.
"Locating electric car share vehicles where people need them, and providing discounted rates, advances Denver's equity and climate change goals," said Mayor Michael Hancock in a press release. "This initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, increase mobility options and advance social equity by connection more of our communities with accessible transportation options like biking, transit and now EV car sharing."
The program will be managed by Colorado CarShare, a Boulder-based nonprofit that provides car share vehicles throughout the metro area.
The idea behind car sharing is to provide people a short-term vehicle that allows the driver to pay for their usage rather than the costs associated to owning a vehicle.
This allows older or low-income residents to perform necessary trips such as going to the grocery store, a medical appointment or to work.
In August Denver allocated $300,000 of the federal CARES Act funds to support the initiative. The funds covered the costs of the vehicles and necessary charging infrastructure.
Noel Taylor, a Denver resident who has utilized the services, says it's a great option to have in the community and easy to use.
"I love the mobility option that Colorado CarShare brings to my community," Taylor said in a news release. "Their cars make it easy to get where I need to go, and because they're electric, they reduce emissions and help clean up the air."
In 2019, CASR ran a pilot program in partnership with Colorado CarShare in Denver's La Alma Lincoln Park neighborhood. After the program was deemed a success, both groups looked to expand the program and give others access to an electric car share vehicle.
"It has been a fundamental tenet of Colorado CarShare to serve our community in mixed-income areas, and we are excited to take this step forward in sustainability with CASR, (Denver Housing Authority) and Urban Land Conservancy, said Peter Krahenbul, CEO of Colorado CarShare. "We expect this initiative to act as a catalyst for many more shared electric vehicle charging stations in similar communities around Denver."
The six new stations have been placed across the Five Points, Whittier, Sun Valley, La Alma Lincoln Park, Union Station and City Park West neighborhoods and can be found:
- 2855 Tremont St., Denver Motor Vehicles Building, Five Points/Whittier neighborhoods
- 330 24th Ave., Denver Housing Authority, Five Points neighborhood
- 10th and Decatur Streets, Denver Housing Authority, Sun Valley neighborhood
- 1024 Navajo St., Denver Housing Authority, La Alma Lincoln Park neighborhood
- 2004 Chestnut Place, City lot, Union Station/Five Points neighborhoods
- 1600 N. Downing St., Urban Land Conservancy, City Park West neighborhood
Residents who qualify for a discounted membership can sign up by visiting carshare.org.