Forth is thrilled to announce the launch of the Clean Rural Shared Electric Mobility Project (CRuSE) – an electric carshare project in Hood River, Oregon, now available to the public.
The CRuSE program provides five Honda Clarity vehicles throughout Hood River. The sites span a variety of populations served, including City of Hood River employees and businesses looking to electrify their work-related travel, tourists to Hood River, affordable housing residents, and the community at large.
Forth brought together an incredible mix of community and industry partners to deliver CRuSE and to demonstrate the financial viability of electric vehicle carsharing in a rural community. We took learnings from previous Forth projects, combined with insights from community organizations, to design a program to provide equitable access to shared electric vehicles for Hood River residents, organizations, and visitors.
To maximize accessibility for Spanish-speaking and low-income users, we’re implementing Spanish-language communication materials and software coupled with community-led outreach, alternate payment mechanisms to allow participation for unbanked individuals, and a tiered pricing structure to provide lower rates for low-income riders while offering market rates to businesses and tourists. Each of these components will be introduced to the project between now and its sunset in June 2023. Throughout the project, we’ll be collecting a variety of data to track utilization, greenhouse gas emissions and user experience, which will inform project refinement over time.
Forth received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office to implement the program in the summer of 2019. Forth immediately began convening partners to work toward a public launch. Over the next year, we finalized site locations, designed and implemented a community transportation survey, acquired vehicles outfitted with the hardware needed to support the carshare platform, and began preparing each location with a charging station and signage. This process took longer than originally anticipated – 2020 was not without its share of delays – but Forth and our partners navigated the unexpected challenges while staying true to the project’s goals and objectives while respecting the needs of the community.
The CRuSE Project could not have come together without the support and input from our many partners. We are thankful to an amazing group of local volunteers eager to see greater adoption of EVs and new transportation options in their community. We look forward to what the next two years have in store for us as we continue on this journey together! You can find more information and the latest updates on the CRuSE Project here, or by contacting Forth's Sr. Program Manager, Kelly Yearick.