Last winter, car-sharing operator Reach Now opened an office in Portland and launched the Electric Vehicle (EV) component of its services here, attracted by the city’s green credentials and culture of early adoption. The launch dovetailed with Portland’s aggressive climate action goals to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent, from 1990 levels, by 2050. Achieving that goal requires getting as many people as possible out of single occupancy vehicles; using electric vehicles for sharing helps Portland meet our action plan more quickly.

Reach Now’s path to Portland began well ahead of its December 2016 arrival. In March of 2015, Prosper Portland staff started conversations with the company about a Portland location and visited the operations office in San Francisco to encourage an expansion in Portland. Later in 2015, Prosper Portland hosted the Reach Now Business Development team in Portland as they considered a Northwest headquarters location. While the company chose Seattle for its headquarters, Prosper Portland staff continued to make the case for a Portland expansion. In spring of 2016, Prosper Portland staff helped the company find a Portland office location, and connected them to various resources such as workforce partnerships.

On April 5, 2017 ReachNow celebrated its Portland operation with a housewarming party at its Central Eastside office space which includes the addition of two electrical charging stations on-site, thanks to support from a Prosperity Investment Program grant. The company now employs five people in its Portland office as well as more than a dozen contractors.

The fast-growing company now operates in Seattle, Portland and Brooklyn. Portland has the highest percentage of active users and number of drives per member, with more than 350 active vehicles in Portland and an upcoming expansion to Portland International Airport, where members can start and end reservations at PDX.

Reach Now’s recruitment also brought its operations partner, EcoServices, from Vancouver BC, to Portland. Prosper Portland staff is working with EcoServices to build connections that facilitate employment opportunities for underrepresented populations.