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Posted on: July 15, 2022

Electric Vehicle (EV) Car Sharing Program Coming to Bainbridge Island

Mobility for All – a non-profit advocacy group based on Bainbridge Island – was recently selected for $193,247 in grant funding from the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Zero-Emissions Access Program (ZAP) program

Grant funds will be used to purchase two electric vehicles and install EV chargers at the Town Square by City Hall in downtown Bainbridge Island for a community carshare pilot program. The City of Bainbridge Island was approached by Mobility for All as a potential site host for an EV carshare program, consistent with goals outlined in the City’s Climate Action Plan and Sustainable Transportation Plan.

Providing Equitable Access to Electric Vehicles 
Town Square is centrally located near multiple facilities utilized by under-served community members and low- to moderate-income individuals. According to the EPA Smart Location Database, Town Square is located within the area of the highest number of low-income workers and the highest number of zero-car households in the city. This carshare location will particularly serve those community members with an efficient and environmentally responsible way to get groceries, run errands, and get to medical appointments, work, or school activities.

“Providing equitable access to climate solutions is an important goal in our Climate Action Plan,” said City Manager Blair King. “This program will provide enhanced mobility options for community members with limited transportation options, especially during the workday and on evenings and weekends. It will also provide low- to moderate-income members of our community with a new transportation option that will improve their access to services, healthcare facilities, and recreational opportunities. Any potential parking impacts will be offset by this implementation of the Climate Action Plan and Sustainable Transportation Plan.”

Having this innovative zero-emission carshare program centrally located in Winslow will provide a convenient, environmentally friendly transportation option for people who live in, work in, and visit Bainbridge Island. It will also provide everyone in the community with an opportunity to try out an EV. 

The carshare program vehicles are anticipated to be Chevy Bolt EUVs (subject to availability). These EVs were selected based on their compact size, long range, reasonable price, and availability.

As a partner in this program, the City is providing the following support: 

  • Conversion of four existing parking spaces at City Hall to be dedicated to electric vehicle charging. 
  • Up to $20,000 in matching funds previously allocated by City Council in the 2021-22 budget for implementation of the 2020 Climate Action Plan. 
  • Promotion of the carshare program to local nonprofits serving low-income, elderly, and disabled residents, and to City staff, island residents and visitors. 

Grant funding is available for this project through June 2023, with the launch of the carshare program anticipated in early 2023. 

Background
This project will help implement actions identified in both the Climate Action Plan and the Sustainable Transportation Plan. 

The City’s 2020 Climate Action Plan adopted a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025, 60% by 2030, and 90% by 2045, compared to a 2014 baseline. Transportation is responsible for approximately 34% of community greenhouse gas emissions on Bainbridge Island. The Climate Action Plan identifies specific actions to both increase the number of electric vehicles on the island and to install charging infrastructure across municipal locations and in commercial centers on the island.  

The City’s recently adopted Sustainable Transportation Plan establishes a new vision for mobility on the island that will reduce carbon emissions and improve safety and mobility for all. The plan took a values-based approach to planning and one outcome was that the community favored increased transportation choices, including a carshare program and the transition to electric vehicles. An electric vehicle sharing program was included in the mobility project list for Scenario 2, “Connecting Centers,” which was identified by Council as the preferred implementation plan.

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