Home Rent a car Electric vehicles that you can rent by the hour

Electric vehicles that you can rent by the hour


ALBANY — The Capital District Regional Transportation Authority plans to roll out a new car-sharing service in the coming months with electric vehicles that users can rent by the hour or day.

“We’re unveiling what we think will have the next big impact,” CDTA CEO Carm Basile said recently when explaining the new service at the organization’s State of CDTA event.

Beginning first in Albany and then Troy, the “Drive” initiative will allow people to rent a Chevrolet Bolt for $5 an hour or $40 a day.

The essentially contactless service will allow people to reserve a vehicle through a smartphone app and pick up a Bolt at one of the charging stations CDTA plans to set up.

The service will be available to anyone aged 21 or over with a driver’s license, a “relatively clean driving record” and a valid bank, credit or debit card.

A good driving record is defined as having no major accidents, travel or impaired driving offenses and no more than two minor tickets in the past five years.

Drive isn’t the first car-sharing service to come to the capital region.

Vehicles from Zipcar, a car-sharing service that is part of the Avis Budget car rental chain, have been available for some time in the greater capital area, including on the University of Albany campus.

And in 2014, a group of local organizations, with the help of the CDTA, started a nonprofit service, Capital CarShare, but that closed at the end of 2020.

At the time, Joe Bonilla, chairman of the organization’s board, cited rising insurance costs following a few bad wrecks in which multiple vehicles were totaled.

The closure also came amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has since subsided.

Environmentalists and urban planners generally support car-sharing services because they can reduce traffic congestion and the amount of emissions from cars. They can also make cars available to people who cannot afford a vehicle or only need one occasionally.

This helps explain why a service like Zipcar has many locations in New York where owning a car can be more of a hassle than a help.

Yet car-sharing services have struggled. According to transportation blog Streetsblog USA, nearly half of the car-sharing programs that started in the early 2000s were closed in 2009.

But the CDTA, which receives financial aid from the state budget, has no shareholders to answer to and has existing public transport infrastructure, seems well equipped to launch and maintain a car-sharing service. .

“We are simply in a better position operationally, organizationally and financially,” CDTA spokeswoman Jaime Kazlo said.

[email protected] 518 454 5758 @RickKarlinTU