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Torrance Eyes Controversial Car-Sharing Program

TORRANCE ( — A proposed car-sharing program aimed at reducing traffic congestion and freeing up parking in densely populated neighborhoods may soon take a test spin in the city of Torrance.

KNX 1070's Jon Baird reports City Council members will hear from residents on a plan to become the latest South Bay city to utilize Car2Go.

Torrance mulls controversial car-sharing program

The ecologically-friendly firm wants to put as many as 300 vehicles on streets over a 35-square-mile area that includes Torrance, Lomita, Lawndale, El Segundo, Gardena, and Hawthorne, along with Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.

Car2Go allows members to use their membership cards to locate and unlock a car of their choice using either the Internet or a smartphone app. Vehicles can be reserved for roughly $14 per hour and as much as 30 minutes before usage.

Members are allowed to pick up and drop off anywhere within designated boundaries in the nine participating cities.

Torrance could officially join El Segundo, Lomita and Gardena, which have already approved the program. Redondo Beach has also signaled support for using Car2Go.

While car-sharing programs are not exactly new, Car2Go offers its members vehicles that are already parked in public spaces and easily accessible — a feature other programs don't offer.

At least one Southland carpooler said he might be willing to give it a try.

"It sounds sounds pretty awesome, actually," said one commuter. "Me, myself, only driving a motorcycle, I find it very hard to commute, especially when it rains and I have to always call upon my friends."

Officials in Manhattan Beach and other critics, however, have concerns that the cars could end up concentrated all in one location or use up valuable parking space in some of the more populated cities.

The Torrance City Council will discuss Car2Go at City Hall at 3031 Torrance Blvd. starting at 7 p.m.

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