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Travelers face rental car shortage at Eugene Airport

Some community members said this is a good example of why rideshare services are needed in Eugene.

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 5:10 PM
Updated: Mar 27, 2018 6:19 PM

EUGENE, Ore., -- The Eugene Airport is experiencing a rental car shortage this week, leaving some passengers traveling through the airport, out of luck. 

Airport officials said they are out of rental cars because of high demand. They said more people have been traveling to the area and people are likely to keep the cars longer because of spring break. 

Tim Doll, the Eugene Airport director, said this has happened before and is common during high-traffic times like breaks and holidays. He said right now space at the airport is limited, meaning they only have space for so many cars. 

"We are trying to add some more space that we could have more rental cars in the future, but space is not available right now," Doll said.

Doll said since the airport has been growing they have been working to address the problem. He said in the next few months they will consider adding additional rental car companies. They are also conducting assessments to see where they can pave, in order to have more space to put more rental cars. 

However, some community members said this is a good example of why rideshare services are needed in Eugene. 

Eugene Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Brittany Quick-Warner said it's a no-brainer. She said by not having rideshare services available other transportation issues in the city are amplified. 

While the city does offer other transportation options, Quick-Warner said it's not enough. 

"There's this gap in service whether it's late at night, or coming from the airport, there are folks in this town, businesses trying to recruit people or young people in our community that don't have a safe way to get home or a reliable, affordable way to get home," Quick-Warner said. "We feel like ridesharing can really fill that gap and serve the entire community."

Last month the city council voted to have staff write an ordinance that would allow rideshare services. Quick-Warner said the city has been having conversations with the rideshare companies to determine different safety standards and regulations that need to be put in place. Rideshare services could be back in Eugene as early as this summer. 

In the meantime, Doll said passengers should plan ahead and reserve rental cars before they travel. Doll expects cars to become available around Thursday or Friday.

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