Capital CarShare launching soon

capital carshare logo wide

The Capital Region is just a few weeks away from the start of its first independent car sharing operation.

Capital Car Share is aiming to start around the end of June, marketing and outreach coordinator Nnenna Ferguson told us today. The org will begin with 8 vehicles available for per-hour use, distributed at 8 "parking hubs" around the city of Albany.

Car sharing -- in which people pay to use a pool of vehicles by the hour -- has been around for years in other cities, both as for-profit companies (like Zipcar) and non-profits. Capital Car Share, which is using the non-profit model, has been developing since at least 2012. But it picked up speed this past spring, in part by drawing on the experience of the five-year-old Buffalo CarShare. [Buffalo Business First]

"We're hoping to get the ball rolling a little bit smoother," Ferguson said today in reference to the Buffalo org, because Capital Care Share is benefiting from the lessons learned in western New York. (Capital CarShare's startup manager is Creighton Randall, who's come over from Buffalo Car Share.)

Startup funds for the program came from a grant from the Capital District Transportation Committee. And a $129,000 loan from the Community Loan Fund is being used to purchase vehicles.

Neighborhoods

Ferguson said Capital CarShare has picked the Center Square, Arbor Hill, Park South, and Pine Hills for its first batch of parking hubs. Why those neighborhoods? Density.

"It allows for the car sharing model to thrive," Ferguson said today of high density in a neighborhood. The reason: Neighborhoods such as Center Square give the residents the option of walking or taking public transportation for many trip, allowing a car to be an occasional necessity. She said Capital CarShare has picked neighborhoods with density as high -- or higher -- than neighborhoods where the car share in Buffalo has been successful.

Ferguson said Capital CarShare has 22 members signed up for the launch. And she figures it will need to collect 100 members by the end of its first year to be sustainable. (The Buffalo org has 700 members after 5 years.) The org is hoping to get a membership boost when it launches and people actually see the cars out on streets. "The cars are our biggest advertising tool," Ferguson said.

Memberships

Memberships start at $5 per month, with an $11/hour charge for using a vehicle. Membership plans include gas, tax, insurance, and 50 miles of usage per month. (There are also day rates.) Ferguson said the service will be buying compact, fuel efficient cars.

Capital Car Share marked its public push toward this summer's launch date with a $20,000 fundraising campaign online this past spring -- and it fell well short of the goal. Ferguson said the result was "a little disappointing," but the money wasn't central to the org's business plan. Rather, it was hoping to use the money to smooth cash flow at the start. "We're going to be able to work it out."

Prospective car share members need to stop by the org's office at 176 Central Ave (the Central Ave BID's office) to sign up in person. The requirements are relatively simple: a driver must have a license for two years, and no major violations or DWIs for the last five years. If members are under 21 years of age, they'll have to provide their own insurance.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Push for car sharing in Albany revs again
+ Car sharing in the Capital Region

Comments

Finally! Though they really really need to work on the production quality of their promotion video. Just because they're non-profit and on a tight budget doesn't mean they have to look and feel low budget.

Make us want to join up guys!

I actually would use this! Great. The logo needs to go though!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Gawking at the @HudsonPark residential conversion in Albany

This week we got a chance to gawk at the still-under-construction residential conversion of the former Long Energy building at Myrtle and Swan, right across... (more)

Albany winters have been getting warmer

A lot of people seemed to enjoy last week's post about when it's "actually" winter here -- that is, the part of the year here... (more)

What's up in the Neighborhood

Among the topics in this most recent spin around the Capital Region's online neighborhood: Phelps Mountain in the snow, ice on the lake, donating children's... (more)

"I'd rather have cities doing the right thing badly (at first), than continuing to do the wrong thing better."

This is an interesting way of looking at how cities attempt to change, what former Vancouver chief city planner Brent Toderian calls the learning curve... (more)

The New York State Writers Institute is getting two large gifts for its future

The New York State Writers Institute announced this week that it's received two large financial contributions from UAlbany alumni that will allow it to continue... (more)

Recent Comments

I just learned about the Woman's Club of Albany yesterday, during the Holiday House tour. It's a really large space that is chock full of character, and they rent it out for parties of the type Maureen is interested in.

Morning Blend for Dec 12

...has 1 comment, most recently from Zed F

The Albany Public Library is eliminating late fines for books and other items

...has 21 comments, most recently from Susan D'Entremont

Bike share grew in both use and reach this year -- here's what CDTA's thinking about for next year

...has 10 comments, most recently from EMB

Where to buy firewood?

...has 4 comments, most recently from Andrew Gregory

Walk/don't walk

...has 6 comments, most recently from Rebecca