NEW TIMES: How did you get the idea to start the company?
MAHAN: Well, car sharing started around 1987 in Europe, whereas car sharing came to the states around ten years ago. Our owner Mark Shaffer always thought it would be a great concept. However, car sharing was mostly in urban areas. Mark was interested in alternative fuels, because most of his cars are alternative fuel vehicles, and wanted to bring that concept to San Luis Obispo. He felt that it would appeal to locals and tourists because of how beautiful the community is.
NEW TIMES: How good has the response been?
MAHAN: Since we’ve opened in July, it’s been great. The county of San Luis Obispo has been supporting our idea, and the city has given us a parking lot for our cars downtown. So far we have four cars in SLO and we’re purchasing a truck, which will be available in two weeks.
NEW TIMES: Are you planning to expand throughout the county?
MAHAN: Actually, were starting to expand into Morro Bay. We’ve spoken throughout Los Osos, Morro Bay, and Cayucos, where we’re trying to rally 30 people who would be interested in Fun Ride’s service. Once we get enough people to sign up we can purchase another car for that area.
NEW TIMES: What’s your message?
MAHAN: First, this is a tight economic time for everyone. Most people don’t realize how much transportation and owning a car really costs, especially a second car. We would like people to reexamine their budget and use public transportation and car sharing as another great way of saving money. By selling a second car, or not using a first car as much, they’ll save an incredible amount of money over the years. ∆