Anthony Burdi’s Prius earned him money when he wasn’t using it. As a matter or fact, he was in Michigan at the time.
So how’d he do it? Instead of letting his car sit in his Cambridge parking spot while he was away, he let people in his neighborhood borrow it. The idea is catching on thanks to a local start-up company.
“The average American car sits around 23 hours a day. Meanwhile, there’s probably somebody on your block or the next block over that doesn’t own a car, but would love access to one,” says Shelby Clark, CEO of Relay Rides, a company that puts car owners in touch with people who don’t own a car and are looking to borrow a set of wheels. “You could maybe describe us as the match.com for cars.”
“It provides access for people who don’t have a car,” Clark says. “Somebody who does own a car is able to make some income during a tough economic time. And also, it’s very green.”
Studies show that for every shared car, about 14 cars are taken off the road. And with 50 cars available, there’s transportation out there for any taste, or any need.
“We’ve got a bunch of sedans, hybrids, and SUVs, but we’ve also got a Porsche, a convertible, and a 15 passenger van,” Clark says.
When you’ve decided on what car you’d like to borrow, you check the availability online, and reserve the car. A big concern for some would be if someone borrows your car and cracks it up. But Relay Rides says they have a million dollar insurance policy covering the car and the driver.
Anthony found this out first hand. “I was in Michigan; I got a call from Relay Rides saying that somebody, while they were driving, got a little scratch on the back bumper. They said are you ok with us taking the car on Monday to get it fixed?”
So if your car spends lots of time collecting brown leaves, there’s another way to go green, and earn some green along the way.