Mayor Walsh announces DriveBoston program
August 26, 2015
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston has partnered with Zipcar and Enterprise Carshare to bring 80 new car-share vehicles to Boston through the DriveBoston program. The program will place vehicles in dedicated spaces around the City, including many that are currently underserved by car-share options. The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) will begin outfiting its lots for the expansion this week, with the first location at the Ruggles Street lot in Dudley Square and a continued roll out through the fall.
The expanded spots are focused in currently underserved areas, with Roxbury receiving 12 spots and Dorchester receiving 10 spots. Jamaica Plain will receive eight spots and the additional spots are distributed in small numbers across the City. The program spaces are all visible on an online map at boston.gov/driveboston.
"All of our residents deserve the opportunity to access car-share vehicles and I am pleased we are able to expand Drive Boston to additional neighborhoods," said Mayor Walsh. "DriveBoston is an important tool to lessen our reliance on car ownership and relieve parking congestion throughout Boston."
BTD's DriveBoston program has three main goals: (1) create "mobility hubs" at key MBTA stations and along bus routes to strengthen the City's transportation network; (2) reduce the number of private vehicles per household to relieve parking pressure; and (3) better connect the Main Street Business Districts. The majority of the spaces will be in City-owned municipal parking lots (48 spaces), with the remaining 32 spots being placed on street corners. Data collected about how frequently people use the vehicles and for what purposes will help inform the City's transportation planners on the success of the program.
"We are excited to continually offer new ways for people to get around the city," said BTD Commissioner Gina Fiandaca. "Not everybody wants to own a car, but they may need one occasionally, and we see DriveBoston as one more tool for residents who want a car-free or car-light way of living in Boston."
National studies on the impact of car-share programs have shown significant, positive impacts. Expanding car-share in a city, for example, can help reduce local greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, increasing car-share availability has been shown to reduce local car ownership, as residents chose to join a car-share program rather than buy, maintain and find parking for one. One study estimates that adding each car-share vehicles reduces between nine and 13 cars overall.
"We have a unique neighborhood network that directly connects us to local communities and transportation infrastructure at a grassroots level," said Brian Duffy, vice president and general manager of Enterprise in Boston. "So we're naturally excited to partner with the City of Boston on this new car-sharing program, which not only enhances our fleet's accessibility in Boston, but also our ability to complement the 'T' and other options."
"Zipcar's core mission - to enable simple and responsible urban living - has been unchanged since we were founded here in our hometown 15 years ago," said Zipcar Boston General Manager Jeremy Pomp. "We're thrilled to partner with Mayor Walsh and his team to expand our footprint of over 1,000 ZipCars in the Boston area with the additional 40 DriveBoston spaces in the city's neighborhoods, bringing ZipCars even closer to where our members live and work."
About Go Boston 2030 The DriveBoston program is an early action initiative of Go Boston 2030, the City's transportation planning effort. The effort is being led by the Boston Transportation Department and the Mayor's Mobility Plan Advisory Committee. In addition to developing a long term strategic plan, Go Boston 2030 is identifying specific initiatives for immediate implementation.
About the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics The DriveBoston program was facilitated by a collaboration between the Boston Transportation Department and the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics.The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics serves as Mayor Walsh's civic innovation group. A City agency that was formed in 2010, New Urban Mechanics pilots experiments that offer the potential to significantly improve the quality of City services. Recent collaborations with BTD include TicketZen, ParkBoston, and new smart parking meters. To learn more about their work follow the office on Twitter.