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Energy Corridor District Launches CarShare April 24

04/24/2013

A Fresh Approach to Reducing Traffic Congestion & Smog

HOUSTON, April 20, 2013 – A novel traffic mitigating idea designed to change the way think people about commuting officially launches Wednesday, April 24, with the The Energy Corridor District’s first CarShare installation at the Eldridge Place office towers.

The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare is the first Houston program that shares vehicles with employees from different companies who use alternative modes of transportation to get to work, such as carpools, vanpools, bicycling, or Metro buses.

Enterprise CarShare is providing two hybrid vehicles, along with the hi-tech infrastructure that makes reserving and using the cars easy and convenient.

Now, when commuters using carpools, buses or bicycles need to run an errand while at work – like going to a doctor’s appointment, attending that surprise cross-town business meeting or making a child-teacher conference – they will have CarShare as a convenient option. The idea, explains John Nunez, Transportation Manager for The Energy Corridor District, is to eliminate one of the obstacles for commuters deciding whether or not to use alternative transportation.

“The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare program is a fresh approach to reducing traffic congestion in the Houston region,” says John Nunez, Transportation Manager for the Energy Corridor District. “Ultimately, CarShare is designed to reduce traffic congestion during peak commuting hours, while decreasing emissions that cause greenhouse gases.”

By giving people mobility options at work, explains Nunez, The Energy Corridor District hopes to encourage the use of carpooling, vanpooling, mass transit and other traffic-mitigating methods.

“With the option to use shared vehicles at work, then alternative transportation becomes more attractive,” says Nunez. “You can leave the car at home and take a vanpool knowing that a CarShare vehicle is available so you can visit the dentist, make a lunch date or even drive home if you need to stay late. And, of course, when  you leave your car behind, you save money on gas, reduce wear and tear on your vehicle, and take some of the stress out of driving in traffic.”

Enterprise CarShare technology makes it easy to locate, reserve and access a shared car online without calling a reservation agent. Once commuters register online, they can quickly reserve a CarShare vehicle, then stroll down to the designated, first-level parking spaces at Eldridge Place to  pick up their hybrid CarShare ride.

Ideal Launch Pad
With thousands of employees working throughout 823,000 square feet of Class A office space, Eldridge Place makes an ideal launching pad for The Energy Corridor’s first, true CarShare site, explains Nunez. The office towers, owned by Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc., mark the first of what The Energy Corridor District hopes will be several CarShare sites serving The Energy Corridor, where the workforce now numbers approximately 84,000 people.

“Eldridge Place is in the heart of The Energy Corridor at the corner of Memorial and Eldridge. It’s an exciting place to introduce CarShare,” says Nunez. “The owner of Eldridge Place has provided very convenient locations for the vehicles. CarShare participants should find the program easy and fun to use.”

“We are really excited to participate in the CarShare program,” commented Debbie Fujimoto, Regional Portfolio Director for Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc. “This is a wonderful opportunity to participate in reducing Houston traffic congestion and emissions, while also benefiting Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc.’s tenants.”

The Energy Corridor District and the Houston-Galveston Area Council, through grant funds provided by the Federal Transportation Administration, are providing financial incentives in the form of reduced car share costs and free hourly rental driving credits to qualified commuters.

A vision to create a highly livable center
“The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare is unique because it will empower people from a wide variety of companies to take advantage of carpooling and other traffic-mitigating programs,” says Clark Martinson, General Manager of The Energy Corridor District. “We are in discussions with other locations, and we plan to systematically extend CarShare throughout the Energy Corridor.

“CarShare is one part of the overall Energy Corridor District vision to create a highly livable and workable center that can continue to attract high-caliber people and companies the world over.”

For more information about The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare program, please visit energycorridor.org/carshare, or contact John Nunez at 281-759-3800 or jnunez@energycorridor.org.

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About The Energy Corridor District
Created in 2001 by the Texas Legislature, The Energy Corridor District (Harris County Improvement District #4) works to enhance the community’s quality of life and sense of place by implementing mobility, public safety, and streetscape and business development initiatives. The Energy Corridor District consists of over 1,800 acres that extend along both sides of Interstate 10 from Kirkwood to west of Barker Cypress and along Eldridge Parkway from north of IH-10 to south of Briar Forest.

About Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc.
Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc. owns a portfolio of institutional quality offices buildings, comprised of 50 properties in 18 states and the District of Columbia, as of December 31, 2012. The REIT's portfolio of more than 20 million square feet includes concentrations in the major markets of Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia.  Behringer Harvard REIT I, Inc. is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.