eGo CarShare & Balfour at Riverfront Park

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Balfour at Riverfront Park in Denver is a natural fit for carsharing. Located right in the heart of downtown, this vibrant senior community houses 140 residents, has 100 staff and is ideally located to take advantage of all the great transportation options available nearby.

Ann O’Neill, a Resident Adviser on the Leasing and Marketing Team, loves taking the light rail to work, but needs a car to visit clients on the job. Carsharing with eGo CarShare, which has a car right outside the door of Balfour, was ideally suited to meet her needs.

She says, “I need the flexibility of a car to nurture relationships with clients but enjoy using the light rail rather than driving for my commute.” Carsharing not only gave her the ability to have access to a car without sitting in traffic coming into work but also solved an insurance issue related to transporting clients in personal cars and personal liability, since excellent insurance coverage is included in every eGo CarShare reservation.

eGo CarShare also makes it easy to use cars for business- instead of needing to be reimbursed for personal car usage and mileage, companies like Balfour can have a direct account with eGo CarShare and enjoy the low business rates offered to business and nonprofit groups. Brandi Williamson, Leasing Director for Balfour, says, “We appreciate the level of care taken to ensure that vehicles are clean and well maintained.  Balfour is a luxury brand and the eGo CarShare vehicles are a wonderful way to accommodate our clients and provide convenient access to the staff.”

Ann remarked, “Everyone on the Leasing team uses the carshare cars,” and they have taken the cars to visit prospective clients in places like Thornton, Evergreen, and Arvada. Personal home visits and an in-depth assessment of clients’ needs, as well as driving prospective clients to see the Balfour sites or to other appointments, is all part of the extraordinary lengths Balfour goes to to create their community and work with potential clients to find the right fit for them.

With so many people in its community, Balfour has unique transportation needs. There is a private fleet of three vehicles to transport residents, as well as access to a weekly shuttle, and of course, all the transportation options of downtown Denver like transit from nearby Union Station and ridesharing. Carsharing is a great addition to these options, as it allows residents the freedom and independence of access to a personal vehicle even if they do not have their own.

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Balfour has chosen to limit the amount of on-site parking in an effort to be “good stewards in an urban setting.” Ann says, “We encourage ourselves, our residents and their visitors to take advantage of the new Denver” and all the options that are available so close by. Residents do have the option to pay for parking their own cars on-site, but carsharing can be an elegant solution to save money and continue to have access to a personal vehicle if residents want to drive without owning personally.

Balfour knows they can rely on eGo CarShare to meet their needs. Not only is the Riverfront Prius (V #202)  right outside their door, but there are a number of other cars close by including the new Union Station spot (V #205). Like all eGo CarShare members, Balfour staff and residents have access to all 53 cars in Denver, Boulder and Longmont including all-wheel drives and pickup trucks. And should an issue arise, they know a staff member is just a phone call away 24/7. As Brandi puts it, “the best part of our carsharing usage is the continued support and efforts from eGo staff to educate our team on efficient and easy usage.  Staff have been responsive and better yet, proactive in assisting our team.”

If you’re interested in becoming an eGo CarShare member, please visit http://carshare.org/2016dev/join-now

To learn more about Balfour Senior Living, which provides independent living, assisted living and memory care in a setting that combines the amenities of a four star hotel with the comforts of a carefully designed residential setting, please visit http://balfourcare.com

 

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Posted in eGo Members, News & Events

Nonprofit Carsharing Offers Unique Benefits

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Denver has an increasing amount of options when it comes to getting around, from carsharing and ridesharing to light rail and biking. While there have never been more options, eGo CarShare, as a nonprofit carsharing organization, is unique in what it can offer.

One challenge to shared mobility that eGo can help tackle is the goal of equity and access for all. Being a nonprofit means that we not only run a full scale carsharing service with 50+ cars, but we also receive grants to do things like bring carsharing to areas which might not be particularly profitable. For example, eGo CarShare was awarded a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant through the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) for 2014-2015 to create “Multi-modal Toolkits” for residents in various affordable housing neighborhoods in Boulder and Denver. Partial matching funding was provided by Mile High Connects and The Denver Foundation. eGo partnered with Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), Denver HousingAuthority (DHA) and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver (HFHMD) to provide select households with significantly subsidized monthly transit passes, free carshare memberships with discounted usage rates, free or discounted B-cycle memberships and/or access to pool bikes, and education about the multi-modal transportation options available to them. These public-private partnerships make it possible for us to provide not just carsharing but also greater mobility options to low-income areas.

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Denver has made it possible to increase the visibility of all carshare services through its progressive on-street parking policies. These regulations have allowed us (and other carsharing services) to have designated on-street parking spaces, reserved specifically for our cars, something which does not exist in all cities. Having designated spaces on-street builds awareness of carsharing and therefore increases the number of people who use carsharing, because they see how convenient it can be and how easy cars are to access. Round-trip carsharing also helps to significantly ease parking demands as studies show each round-trip carsharing car replaces 9 -13 personally owned vehicles. This is because carshare members rely on a shared car rather than have their own or are able to get rid of a second vehicle while maintaining flexibility. Thus as vehicle ownership decreases, less space is needed for parking.

 

Participating in shared mobility is becoming an ever more viable option for people in Denver and beyond. eGo CarShare has over 50 locations in Denver, Boulder and Longmont and we hope to eventually expand to other surroundings communities, though population density to support carsharing and the relative newness of the carsharing concept can be challenging in new areas. eGo CarShare only requires two years of driving history and a valid license (which does not have to be in-state or even from the US) to apply for membership, making it a great option for college students, people visiting from other countries or others who wan a vehicle occasionally to get around. With no annual fees and carsharing rates starting at just $4.50/hour + $0.33/mile, including gas and insurance, sharing a car with eGo can also save a lot of money! AAA estimates in its 2015 study that it costs $7,606 a year to own your own car – you can afford to regularly use a LOT of other mobility options for well under $633/month without losing your flexibility and freedom and you’ll never have to deal with the hassles of car ownership.

 

Round-trip carsharing is meant to complement, rather than compete with, other mobility services like transit and bikeshare, creating even more transportation options as carshare locations expand around the city and beyond. Fewer cars on the road means less congestion, less emissions, improved environmental quality and better quality of life for communities – all goals eGo works toward as a local nonprofit.

 

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