The 200 Zipcar members who live in Belmont and others who are interested will soon be able to use the service in their community.
Theunanimously voted on Monday, June 20, to accept the ’s recommendation to allow the Cambridge-based car-sharing company to use public property in town as locations to park the vehicles.
“It occurred to me several years ago that Zipcars are an interesting idea for municipalities and their citizens,” said Selectmen Chairman Ralph Jones.
“The Energy Committee wanted to look into this because of the virtues of having (the service) in Belmont and the fact that each one removes between 15 to 30 cars from the road,” noted Jones, applauding the committee, and especially Cochairman Ian Todreas, for taking the initiative of looking into this alternative mode of transportation.
The way Zipcar works, Jones explained, is that people pay a membership fee and then pay to use a Zip car whenever they need. The cars are parked at convenient locations throughout the community.
Formed in 2000, Zipcar now is located throughout the United States and in the UK – the vast majority located in and around urban neighborhoods and college campuses – with a fleet of 80,000 cars serving nearly 600,000 customers.
The selectmen’s acceptance of the Energy Committee’s recommendation means a representative from Zipcar will come to Belmont to look for appropriate spots where the company’s vehicles might be parked.
“This proves to be a very effective replacement of a second car,” Jones said about the use of Zipcar.
“There’s also an argument it may help local businesses because people save money by not having a second car.”