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Zipcars may soon be parking in Belmont

Posted by Derek McLean  June 23, 2011 11:50 AM

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Belmont selectmen accepted a recommendation from the Energy Committee Monday night to allow Zipcars to be parked around the community, giving subscribers access to a car without having to buy one.

“Our Energy Committee has had inquiries for sometime, about having sites in the town of Belmont where Zipcars can be utilized,” said Town Administrator Thomas G. Younger in an interview after the meeting Monday night.

The Cambridge-based company already has multiple sites in nearby Cambridge, Boston, Newton, Watertown, and Waltham.

Before the plan can take effect, Younger said, the Energy Committee and Zipcar must agree on sites where the cars can be parked around the town. Younger and the selectmen discussed some possible locations at the meeting.

“Belmont is fortunate to have two MBTA train stops, which go to North Station,” he said. Younger also noted the town has multiple bus and trolley stops. “We do have a great deal of public transportation where Zip cars may be an addition.”

 If the program does come to Belmont, the town will receive revenue from Zipcar, which would rent spaces in municipal lots. Younger said that towns can receive anywhere between $80 and $200 per month for a space. The number of cars Belmont would receive has not yet been determined.

Ian Todreas, cochair of the Energy Committee, is a Zipcar member himself. He currently uses the cars that are held at Alewife Station and Huron Village in Cambridge. “I think it’s a great program. It has been very handy,” said the father of four, who owns just one car for his family. “Driving Zipcars is less expensive than buying and driving your own car.”

 According to Jones, there are currently 200 Belmont residents who are Zipcar subscribers. Younger says Zipcars do not normally go into a community without a certain amount of subscribers already in place. “Jones is confident that there are a good number of subscribers in our community to bring about this proposal,” said Younger.

 The board also discussed the possibility of having Zipcars at Town Hall for town employees to use to attend meetings or events.

  Zipcar prices vary by community. According to its website, an occasional driving plan in Boston charges customers with a $60 annual fee, a $25 application fee, and hourly rates of $7.75.

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