CDTA launches rent-by-the-hour electric car share service

CDTA launches rent-by-the-hour electric car share service

ALBANY — The Capital County Transportation Authority launched the first phase of Albany County’s new car-sharing service Friday, rolling out its fleet of all-electric cars that users can rent by the hour or day.

Community members will have the opportunity to reserve a zero-emission Chevrolet Bolt for $5 per hour or $40 per day, plus a one-time application fee of $20. The first 150 miles are included in the booking costs, and any trips over that limit will cost $0.35 per mile.

From running errands to visiting nearby destinations, the vehicles will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to customers 21 and older with a valid driver’s license, “clean driving record” and bank, credit card or valid debit.

In this first phase, the DRIVE car sharing program will be available at six locations in Albany County. These include five Albany locations: the main Albany Public Library branch, 143 Washington Ave., and the APL Delaware branch, 331 Delaware Ave.; St. Vincent de Paul Parish at 900 Madison Ave.; Albany County Department of Mental Health, 175 Green St. and the Maria College parking lot off New Scotland Avenue. Vehicles will also be available at the Cohoes BRT Station, 65 Remsen St. Cohoes.

To participate in the program, individuals can unlock their chosen vehicle from a smartphone app and disconnect it from the charging station to begin their journey. When they’re done using the vehicle, which seats up to five people, they must return it to the same station and plug it back in.

While DRIVE is unique for its all-electric offerings, it’s not the first car-sharing service to hit the streets of the Capital Region. Vehicles from Zipcar, a car-sharing service that is part of the Avis Budget car rental chain, have been available in the greater Capital Region, including the University at Albany campus, for some time.

Some other ventures have not been so successful. Capital CarShare, a non-profit car-sharing service, launched in 2014 by a group of local organizations with CDTA support, but closed in late 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new program joins CDTA’s long list of sustainable transportation offerings and existing transit infrastructure, which include its fixed route service, STAR, the CDPHP loop! and FLEX upon request. Those interested in taking advantage of the new program can register online and reserve a vehicle in advance on the DRIVE website.

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