New York City is partnering with Zipcar and Enterprise to encourage residents to ditch their personal cars and use one of the car-sharing services instead.
"If we don't do something about the number of cars, we're all screwed," Mayor Bill de Blasio bluntly said during the announcement of the car-sharing pilot program to cut down on congestion. The city's Transportation Department has set aside 309 dedicated parking spots for shared vehicles.
"This is absolutely one of the ways we can reduce the number of cars still giving people the availability of a vehicle when they need one," the mayor said.
The city is hoping the car-sharing program will encourage people who own cars to give them up.
Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg pointed to studies that estimate that owning a car in New York can cost you about $9,000 so she said that resident can potentially save a dramatic amount.
Council Member Mark Levine said that similar programs in Baltimore and San Francisco have helped curb car ownership.
NYCHA tenants receive a free membership for the first year of the program and discounted rental rates. For everyone else, memberships will range from $7 to $40 per month. Rental rates range from $8.50 an hour to $18 per hour, depending on where you live and the car you choose. Gas and car insurance are included
If the program is successful, the city will expand it.