Car reservation

Shaker Heights company rolls out car-sharing service

Getting people to work when a car, or even a bus, isn’t available can mean an expensive Uber or Lyft ride.

Or it may be more affordable if a community or business creates a car-sharing service like those operated by Sway Mobility Inc.a 4 year old company from Shaker Heights.

CEO Michael Peters said Sway now has a dozen cars in programs in northeast Ohio and Detroit. Current clients include the City of Oberlin in County Lorain and Centers (formerly The Centers for Families and Children) in Cleveland.

The Centers program is funded by a Paradox Prize grant, and it helps the El Barrio Workforce Development Center on the West Side of Cleveland bring interns to job interviews and retain their employment if other means of transport fail.

Oberlin’s program began in 2021 and was approved by City Council to help Oberlin College residents and students with affordable, flexible transportation and to reduce carbon emissions. The city agreed to pay up to $223,000 over five years to cover a portion of the cost of the service not recovered from user fees.

“We have two electric cars that anyone can use, but you have to pay by the hour,” said Carrie Porter, director of planning and development at Oberlin. “They were well used, more than (Sway) thought they would be used.”

An Oberlin resident or student can use the cars for a few hours or a few days, depending on their needs. Users pay $8 per hour and can pay additional fees if the car needs extra cleaning or the battery is dead. Peters said the cars are sometimes used up to five times a day.