ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The City of Rochester is introducing a new all-electric car sharing service called FloShare.
Currently, the organization offers six entirely electric cars located near Genesee Valley Park sports complex.
“The fact [is], you need a vehicle to get anywhere in Rochester,” said Bree-Ana Dukes, who originally created the program in 2021. “The commute is about 20 minutes to any space […] and the bus system is getting better, but we have a lot of work to do, and we just need more modes of mobility.”
“There’s almost 35,000 city residents who do not own a vehicle, and many of them lack access to affordable private transport,” said Richard Perrin, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Services. “But that changes today, because Floshare is one way we can close the transportation equity gap. it offsets the price of rising gas prices, making everyday trips less expensive.”
FloShare markets themselves as a quick process, with just a few key steps.
- Reserve: Reserve Floshare in advance on the mobile app or website.
- Pick Up: To pick up Floshare and hit the road, open the Floshare app and unlock the vehicle.
- Drive: Unplug the vehicle from the charging station and begin your trip! You can lock and unlock the vehicle with your smartphone or smartcard throughout your trip.
- Drop: Return the car to the station where you began your journey. Use the EV Connect card to swipe at the charging station and then plug the car into the charger and end your trip with the app!
Dukes, the 2021 Program Coordinator, has a background in education, but she says that life steered her in another direction.
“I was looking for a company that had a good mission, and I always worked in spaces with its access to education, housing, or healthcare, and so this fit the bill,” she said. “It’s access to transportation, and it’s all interconnected, so you can go to the grocery store, to the doctor’s, something like that.”
Floshare is one part of a nationwide network built by Mobility Development that brings carsharing to places like Boston, Chicago, and the Central Valley of California. Here in Rochester, there are currently four electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicles mean you’re not emitting as many carbon emissions in the universe, in the atmosphere,” she said.
In 2021, FloShare had two vehicles at the public market in Rochester, and two at Saint Mary’s at Rochester Regional Health, as part of Duke’s initial program.
Those four have relocated and joined two additional vehicles at the GVP location. FloShare hopes to be able to expand operations further, with their next target being ten cars.