Carsharing is a neighborhood-based car rental that allows people to use a car for a few hours at a time without the costs and responsibilities of ownership.
How does it work?
Once members join, often for a fee, they can reserve a vehicle online or via smart phone, at the reservation time use their keycard to unlock the vehicle, and drive. Drivers add gas themselves with a gas card located in the car share vehicle, and the vehicles’ maintenance and insurance is part of the user fee. Zipcar may be the most well-known Carshare company, though it has numerous national competitors – Hertz 24/7, Enterprise Carshare, UHaulCarShare as well as local ones – Ithaca Carshare in Ithaca, City CarShare in San Francisco, and many others.
Carsharing supports transit, walking, and biking by filling in gaps which are otherwise difficult to access. Plus, by providing occasional access to a car, it reduces the need to own vehicles, reducing parking congestion. Carsharing is most successful in areas with a lot of people, and an interconnected transportation network that allows the maximum number of people access to vehicles with a short walk.
In the Capital Region
Numerous colleges have expressed interest. UAlbany has a contract, with two-three vehicles at the Uptown Campus and two off of Western Ave and O’Leary Blvd. Not all vehicles are available when school is not in session.
In addition, Capital Carshare launched in August 2014 with six vehicles in the City of Albany.