Zipcar added at Forest Hills

April 27, 2007
By

JOHN RUCH

A second Zipcar has been added at the Forest Hills T Station as part of a major new partnership between the short-term car rental company and the MBTA.

“Using both the T and Zipcar to get around town reduces congestion and pollution, while at the same time saves people time and money,” said MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas in a press statement.

Zipcars, pitched as an alternative to car ownership, have been popular in Jamaica Plain at least in principle since their introduction in 2000. A Zipcar has been offered in the Forest Hills Station parking lot since late that year.

However, Zipcar has also been known for constant reconfiguration of its business model. There was controversy last year when the Cambridge-based company pulled several Zipcars from JP.

The new MBTA partnership will add 21 Zipcars to various T Stations in a rollout through September, making for a total of 24 in the system. Among the other locations are the ends of the major urban Orange and Red subway lines (as well as many bus lines) at Alewife, Quincy, Braintree and Oak Grove.

The MBTA is offering 1,000 pre-paid CharlieCard transit passes to new Zipcar members, while Zipcar is offering $50 of free driving time to CharlieCard-holders.

The idea is to help people get around by public transit and targeted car use instead of driving a private car all the time.

Zipcar members pay a variety of fees to reserve and use a Zipcar. To use it, they simply walk up to it and get inside with an electronic access card. Membership is restricted to people 21 and older who have a credit card and a decent driving record. For more information, see www.zipcar.com.