Ithaca Carshare News April 2020
Is Carsharing Essential?
Carsharing, like transit, taxis, and transportation network companies, is considered an essential transportation infrastructure service during COVID-19 restrictions at both the state and federal level. Over the past few weeks our staff have been buoyed and heartened by phone calls and emails from appreciative members who emphasize just how important access to carshare is in their lives, especially during this challenging time. We’ve seen carsharing help students and parents working through unexpected moves, allow members to stock up on supplies and groceries to stay healthy at home, and our Backup Ride Home service was able to help one downtown worker who discovered one evening that service reductions at TCAT meant their last ride home after work had already departed.

We appreciate everyone’s patience with calling to make bookings, for the careful consideration of whether trips are really necessary, and for extra care in wiping down vehicles and using hand sanitizer to reduce the risk of transmission in Ithaca Carshare vehicles.
Buy Now & Drive Later

Purchasing pre-paid credits on your carshare account now for use later can help Ithaca Carshare weather the COVID-19 storm while continuing to offer low cost access to vehicles when you need them. E-mail or call us to make a purchase!
$100+ 5% off
$200+ $10% off
What are Necessary Trips?
The Tompkins County Health Department released new guidance on March 27, stating that community spread of COVID-19 is now present in Tompkins County, urging the public to stay home as much as possible. Trips for groceries and access to health care unrelated to COVID-19 are the primary reasons that individuals should be out in a carshare vehicle.

If you are unable to access healthcare, food, or essential employment due to lack of affordable transportation options during this time, or need to access the COVID-19 testing site, please reach out to us, we may be able to help.
How Are We Helping?

Cars from the inactive carshare fleet are being put to use in support of community aid response efforts such as food delivery to vulnerable populations. Your donations can to support Ithaca Carshare in providing vehicles for this purpose. $75 pairs a carshare car to a volunteer driver for a week. Pictured below, Ana Ortiz is using Sophronia to deliver groceries to vulnerable families in her community on West Hill.
How Can You Help?

Stay Home
Many of us want to help our community during this time of crisis. One of the most helpful things you can do right now is stay home unless you really need to go somewhere.

Volunteer
Many community volunteers are over 65, and must stay at home for personal protection. The need for new volunteers to fill both existing and emerging needs is significant. United Way is coordinating volunteer efforts as well as Mutual Aid Tompkins in our community. Also, check out the Cornell Public Service Center’s Hot List . Calling 2-1-1 Information and Referral is another good way to get connected to vital volunteer roles right now. They are also a great resource if you need help.

Donate blood
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the U.S. blood supply. Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. There are several upcoming Red Cross blood drives in our area.

Give local business a boost
Local restaurants and merchants have been hard hit during this crisis, many were forced to shut their doors or alter service delivery very suddenly. Check out these efforts to support local businesses that have been deemed non-essential, but are at the heart of what makes Ithaca a fun and vibrant place to live, work, and play. Many businesses are still offering online orders, curbside pickups, and deliveries.
Get Back to the Bike-sics!
Bikes are a basic transportation resource and now more than ever people are re-discovering their bikes as a way to get around at a socially-safe distance, as well as a way to get physical and mental health breaks. Most bike repair shops in town remain open; bike repair, like auto repair, is classified as an essential service. RIBS has set up a free community bike tool station in front of their building at Buffalo and Meadow. Check out the Bike Walk Tompkins e-news to stay up to date on bike-related issues!
How Can I Stay As Safe As Possible in the Cars?

Our staff are visiting the cars to disinfect them with wipes at common touch points. Currently this is happening daily, but if supplies or staffing become a challenge, we may eventually have to reduce that frequency. While this measure significantly decreases the risk of spread in Ithaca Carshare vehicles, we cannot guarantee that the virus will never be present. We encourage our members to bring their own disinfecting wipes to wipe down any surfaces they touch before and after use, and use the provided hand sanitizer. Consider driving with the windows open if the weather allows and avoid taking trips with people that are not part of your household. The CDC emphasizes social distancing as key over the use of homemade fabric face masks, however there are new guidelines out about when and how to use them, which may reduce the likelihood that asymptomatic carriers spread the disease.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, please do not use a carshare vehicle. If you develop symptoms or are confirmed positive after you have used a carshare car, please notify Ithaca Carshare immediately. Ithaca Carshare is working the Tompkins County Health Department and a group of transportation providers on an option for those without a private vehicle to access the testing site. 

Our office at 315 N. Aurora is closed until further notice.

Ithaca Carshare Staff:
Jennifer Dotson, Anna Cook, Katie Kelly, Erik Shanton,
Grace Johnston and Matt Nelson

Ithaca Carshare | info@ithacacarshare.org | 607.277.3210 | I thacaCarshare.org