Car Sharing Portland

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Car Sharing Portland, Inc., was the first commercial car-sharing service in the United States, founded in October 1997 by David Brook of Portland. It was a predecessor to Flexcar and Zipcar.


According to a New York Times Magazine article on the history of car-sharing, the company began launched a fleet of four Dodge Neons in 1998.

The cars rented for $2 per hour and 40 cents per mile, not counting a refundable $250 security deposit.


When Brook surveyed his members, according to the Times article, "he learned that a quarter of them got rid of their cars after joining, and that an equal number had shelved plans to buy vehicles. The sharers said they were driving less than before, walking more and taking mass transit more often."

Unprofitability and sale

By 2000, the company included "two dozen cars, including minivans, a pickup truck and a pair of the earliest hybrid vehicles on the market." It was, however, losing $50,000 per year on $200,000 annual revenue.

Brook and his wife, who had according to the Times article put $100,000 of their own money into the venture, sold the operation to Flexcar. Brook received what he described as "a token stake in the company."

External links