Several pilot "station car" programs have been tried in the United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The first was associated with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, the goal being to get drivers to use BART to commute into San Francisco by using a shared electric car. The "home" driver would use it mornings and evenings, leaving the car at their nearest BART station where it would be plugged in. Other program participants could have access to the vehicle during the day for short period use, returning the car to the station before the "home" driver needed it. The "home" driver would charge the car, if needed, overnight. The program terminated when the NHTSA temporary use waiver expired and the cars had to be returned to Norway where they were manufactured. Ford Motor Company subsequently bought the company and developed the Th!nk City car from it.
In the early 2000s, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) planned to implement a similar station car initiative for commuters traveling into New York City. Using the same principle as the BART program, the "home" driver used the car to commute to and from their nearest train station thus eliminating one extra car heading into and out of the city at rush hour. The program was never fully implemented for unspecified reasons.
The proposed Austin "City Limits" station car proposal would, as currently envisioned, mirror these two prior programs, feeding outlying commuter traffic to Austin's public transit system and similarly making those cars available to other program participants when needed, with the understanding the cars must be returned to the same location as picked up and kept fully charged. The goal of the program would be, as with BART and NYPA, to reduce inner city congestion and shift passenger travel to public transit.