Red Zipcar parked at a meter in Cambridge, MA

What is Carsharing?

Carsharing gives Cambridge residents a transportation option that complements the city’s robust transit, bicycling, and walking networks. Carshare members get the benefit of a private car without the cost and responsibility owning one. The City of Cambridge wants to know how you feel about carsharing services, such as Zipcar and Enterprise Carshare. Please take our short survey


More information on carsharing can be found in our current carshare presentation. 

How Does Carsharing work?

  • You apply for membership; once you are approved, the carshare company sends you a card that unlocks the vehicle doors and ignition. There is no need to go to a central car rental office to pick up the keys.
  • You can reserve a car online or on a smartphone.
  • You can choose from a large variety of car types, including electric vehicles, hybrids, pickup trucks, and luxury cars.
  • Reservations can be by the hour or day.
  • Insurance and gas is usually included in the rental cost.
  • Peer-to-peer carsharing allows residents to put their own cars into a carshare pool to be used by neighbors.

How Does Carsharing Support City Goals?

Carsharing is a critical tool in the city’s efforts to reduce car-dependence, traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Once residents become carshare members, they tend to change their behaviors in two important ways:

  1. They often get rid of their cars or delay buying one
  2. They drive less and use transit, bike and walk more

How Many Private Cars Does a Carshare Vehicle Take Off the Road?

National research shows that each carshare vehicle takes 9 to 13 privately owned cars off the road. That means that even if you aren’t a carshare member, you will benefit because your neighbor will be able to live without a car, which helps reduce the parking burden and traffic in residential neighborhoods.


Carshare Services That Operate in Cambridge

Traditional Carshare

Peer-to-Peer Carshare

For More Information

For more information, contact Stephanie Groll at, or 617/349-3673.