Shared Mobility Inc. (SMI) started with the creation of the nonprofit Buffalo CarShare in 2009, with the goal of bringing innovative transportation options to a region with a high demand for affordable access, becoming the first car share organization dedicated to this type of market. In over six years of operation, BCS shared over 35,000 trips and 1,000,000 miles resulting in 816 tons of CO2 reduced and 600 estimated vehicles either taken off the road or delayed in purchasing. The nonprofit car sharing company’s mission was focused on a social equity platform in which most of the industry tended to ignore. Half of Buffalo CarShare’s members came from a household earning $25,000 or less, which shatters car sharing industry averages. In 2015, Buffalo CarShare transitioned their membership to the self-insured private firm Zipcar to maintain service in light of a flaw in NYS's auto insurance laws that deters insurance agencies from issuing policies to shared vehicle and rental companies. The partnership with ZipCar and Buffalo CarShare proves that the social equity focused model of car sharing is not only viable, but profitable as well.
Simultaneously, during Buffalo CarShare’s operations, SMI researched and demonstrated various projects that further pushed the envelope on the car sharing model of transportation. SMI was the first to implement the use of 100% electric vehicles (EV’s) in a car sharing scheme in New York, as well as launch a volunteer driven vanpooling program for the elderly and disabled, supplemented with the use of a wheelchair accessible van. In 2014, SMI spun off a sister organization for car sharing in Albany, New York, Capital CarShare.
SMI not only focuses on auto related transportation, but all active modes. In 2012, SMI researched and implemented a brand new bicycle sharing initiative. Buffalo BikeShare was the first operator of the dockless Social Bicycles system. At this time, SMI was the first to facilitate the operation of a bike sharing and car sharing system under the same organization in the country. SMI currently operates Reddy bikeshare and has facilitated multiple bike sharing systems across the country This includes business planning, demonstrations, sponsorship identification and site planning.
With the success of bike sharing in Buffalo, in 2014 SMI began conducting feasibility and demonstration projects in multiple cities. The purpose of these demonstration projects was to give a hands on experience to communities interested in an affordable bicycle sharing system.
Brief description of e-bike library pilot.