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By Jed BoalSALT LAKE CITY -- There's a new ride in town that just might change the way you get around. It's a rental car with hourly rates.
The program is called U Car Share, and it's run by U-Haul. The concept is simple: you pick up a car when you need it, where you need it, for part of the day or the whole day."The hourly rate is $4.95; depending on the vehicle, \[it\] will range from 39 cents to 79 cents per mile," says Mike Kemp, with U Car Share Utah.
Insurance is included in the cost, and you can reserve the cars for as little as an hour or for the entire day.
The U Car Share program provides another sustainable transportation option by reducing the number of cars on the road, reducing demands for more parking, and encouraging the use of alternative forms of transportation.
"Try this out," says Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. "I think you'll find this is a great way to go."Here's how it works: You sign up online. You make a reservation for the car that you want, where you want it. When you get there, you swipe your card on the window to unlock the vehicle. You hop in, go to the glove box, pull the keys out, and away you go. U Car Share expects a good driving record for membership; you gas up with a credit card kept in the car.
You'll find the vehicles at more than a dozen locations around town and four places at the University of Utah.
"It may mean that instead of having two cars, you have one. It may mean if you only need a car periodically, you won't need a car at all. You can just rent one for a few hours, get your errands done and drop it off," Becker says.You pay a one-time membership fee to get started -- that's only $5 until Jan.15; $25 thereafter. Ten other cities already have this program, and it's very popular.