Getting Out and About with Car Sharing Options in Downtown Crossing

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Posted June 20, 2013 by Stephanie Dubick in Business
Zipcars

When you live in Boston, the need for a vehicle doesn’t come up too often. Why own a car when you live near the best transportation in the country? And why run the risk of accumulating pesky parking tickets (or getting towed) when you don’t have to? To me, it isn’t worth it, especially when car sharing companies are so plentiful in DTX.

Speaking strictly from experience, after I decided to sell my car several years ago, I sometimes missed the freedom of the open road and the ability to drive whenever, wherever. But I learned that a case of the driving blues was easily cured through participation in car sharing programs. A popular transportation solution among urbanites, car lending is economically and environmentally superior to other car renting companies, offering customers instant vehicles 24-hours a day, seven days a week, without the lengthy waits and piles of paperwork that you normally have to go through.

So if you’re in the mood for some quality road time, consider these options as a convenient alternative to the MBTA.

Zipcar: Built on the premise of sustainable solutions for everyday living, Zipcar (established in 2000 in Cambridge) is the number-one car sharing company in the world. The ease of renting by the hour or day—not to mention the inclusion of gas and insurance with membership—is the reason why I have been a member of the Zipcar community for eight years.

And the sign-up process is simple: Once you’ve registered for membership services on Zipcar.com, all you need to do is sit back, relax, and wait for your Zipcard to arrive in the mail. Once received, visit your Zipcar account, find a car near your location, wave your Zipcard over the key fob to unlock the door, and you’re ready to drive.

Zipcar understands the meaning of convenience, eliminating car rental offices and pesky paperwork and instead getting you on the road as quickly as possible. But on top of accommodating every member, Zipcar also is dedicated to decreasing environmental pollution and car congestion on the road.

Enterprise CarShare: A modern car rental operation founded in 2008, Enterprise’s CarShare program boasts hourly rentals, insurance protection, free fuel, around-the-clock customer service, and a wide selection of sedans, trucks, crossovers, and small vehicles. Similar to the Zipcar business model, membership sign-up is done directly online or over the phone. Once your membership card is shipped in the mail, head to the Enterprise website, pick a location, claim your car, and get driving. There’s no paperwork, no rental branch, and no hassles.

With a strong focus on providing the best service for its members—including 180 free miles with every trip—CarShare is seeing more and more people signing up by the day. And while its sole downtown location rests on Avery Street, the chances of further expansion in the Downtown Crossing area are likely.

Sidecar

Participating in ride sharing companies, like Sidecar, is a wonderful way to travel and a great way to meet new people. Photo Courtesy of US Army FamilyMWR Flickr.

Sidecar: The baby of the vehicle sharing market, Sidecar’s new approach to green car rental options is different from that of similar companies. With Sidecar, the emphasis revolves around “ride-sharing.” Customers download the Sidecar app onto their smartphones, request a ride, and watch as a Sidecar driver arrives promptly to their door . . . for free. (Yes, I said that correctly.) It’s a whole new spin on taxi service. As a brand-new ride-sharing business in Boston (where riders can actually sit in the front seat and choose their own music), Sidecar is committed to providing safe, reliable transportation from point A to point B that is unique and fun. And with background checks on every Sidecar driver—plus rider rating systems and GPS tracking features—customer safety is guaranteed for all participants.

With the summer now upon us, choosing a car lending service in Downtown Crossing for a trip around the city or a drive to the Cape is here at your convenience. So get in, drive on, and have some fun!

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