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Minneapolis welcomes yet another car-sharing service

Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced Tuesday that it’s bringing its car-sharing service to the Twin Cities, beginning at the end of the month.

The Clayton, Missouri-based car rental service’s CarShare business will join fellow car-sharing competitors Germany-based Car2Go, Boston-based Zipcar, and St. Paul-based HourCar—all of which currently maintain a presence in Minneapolis.

HourCar, a program of the nonprofit Neighborhood Energy Connection, pioneered car sharing in Minnesota in 2005. But it has seen stiff competition from interlopers this summer.

Zipcar has offered car sharing on the University of Minnesota campus since 2005 but only expanded to Minneapolis in May, placing 40 vehicles in various locations throughout the city.

Car2Go—the car rental services provider of Daimler AG, manufacturer of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart model cars—came to Minneapolis in August after reportedly securing a contract with the city in March that allowed it access to hundreds of curbside parking spaces throughout the city.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak endorsed Car2Go when it came to the city at the end of summer, “Car-share providers, like Car2Go, provide yet another way for Minneapolis residents to get around our city without having to rely on owning their own cars,” Rybak said in a statement.

Enterprise CarShare said it will make vehicles available in Minneapolis’ Downtown and Uptown neighborhoods beginning September 30—with plans to expand to St. Paul by the end of the year.

The company also said it is temporarily waiving its application fee and one-year membership charge for any local members and discounting its hourly car-share rates to as low as $5 per hour.

Zipcar has both hourly and daily rates, which include gas, reserved parking spots, insurance, and up to 180 miles of driving each day. Rates on local vehicles start at $8.75 per hour and go up to $72 for a 24-hour period.

Twin Cities BusinessHourCar’s service costs $6 to $8 per hour along with 25 cents per mile; it also offers cars for a whole weekday for around $65.

Car2Go specializes in two-seat Smart Cars and charges $13.99 per hour, although, after 150 miles it charges another $0.45 per mile—or $73 for the day.

Minneapolis is the sixth new major market to offer Enterprise CarShare retail services in the past two years. It’s now available on more than 75 university campuses and 40 government and business campuses and in more than 15 markets including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Chicago.

This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.

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