ALBANY, N.Y. – A grant from the CDTA has allowed for a car sharing program to come to the Capital Region.
Capital Carshare allows members to sign up and drive vehicles that are scattered around town. The idea behind the program is to allow people to use vehicles when they need one without the cost or stress of owning one of their own.
The city of Albany was able to develop the program because of a $312,000 start-up grant from the CDTA.
Elaina Heagerty lives in downtown Albany with her boyfriend. She said she usually takes the bus but occasionally needs access to a car like while grocery shopping. She has already signed up for the program.
“I’m used to carrying lots of bags when I lived in New York City, but now the grocery store is a little farther away,” she said. “Definitely familiar with the car share routine. It’s very convenient.”
According to Capital Careshare Marketing Coordinator Nnenna Ferguson, the program rolled out in Albany a few weeks ago with the aim to offer affordable and sustainable transportation options in the city.
“Albany is a small city, but it’s a dense city,” she said. “Sometimes public transit can serve your needs, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Ferguson said signing up is easy. Users need to register and pay a monthly fee. Then users are given electronic access to the cars and only pay an hourly rate to drive one of the cars.
No insurance or maintenance is required, and some residents are interested.
“I would definitely say we have people coming in daily to either sign up or just get more information,” Ferguson said.
There are currently only four cars available, but Ferguson said they are continuing to expand. Another vehicle will be added by the end of the week, and the program hopes to have 12 cars by summer 2015.
Heagerty said she’s looking forward to the program.
“It will be good to get more and then really play around and see where the best spots are,” she said.
The four cars are located up and down Central Avenue and Washington Avenue. Capital Carshare hopes to add locations near Lark Street and Delaware Avenue in the near future.
You can find out more about Capital Carshare, here.