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Buffalo CarShare Launches Expansion Effort

Buffalo CarShare is making great strides toward making personal transit possible for the average- to low-income citizen. Since the nonprofit service started four years ago, it has been on the steady rise, adding four to five cars to its fleet every year.

Their newest goal: Grow their member base as well as the CarShare inventory to 30 cars and make the rentals available to neighborhoods in need by 2015. They hope to expand to the Fruit Belt, North Buffalo, and the Lower West Side. The service is available to individuals, and also extends to fellow nonprofit organizations, which get a discount on truck rentals and receive CarShare’s services, tax-free. The organization receives as well as gives: Local automotive shops give CarShare special deals for body repair, tires, and general maintenance of the vehicles.

“Members save, on average, $4,000 a year,” says Xavier Guillaume, director of member services for Buffalo CarShare, comparing the use of a personal vehicle to a shared one. After insurance, maintenance, and gas, it can cost a pretty penny to own a car, even if it isn’t in frequent use. CarShare factors in all of these costs into a monthly fee of as low as $5 and an hourly rate as low as $8.

Buffalo CarShare hosts regular fundraisers and is always accepting sponsorships. This week, the Oishei Foundation announced a matching fund grant to the organization for up to $100,000, so the team is working hard to maximize the benefits by reaching out to Buffalo’s community for support.

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