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Coming soon: Boston's first income-tiered electric vehicle car share

The City of Boston is part of a team that is piloting the City's first income-tiered electric vehicle car sharing program.

Under the leadership of E4TheFuture, a local non-profit organization, the City of Boston, Eversource, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Shared Mobility, Inc., and Nuestra Comunidad, received a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to pilot the City's first income-tiered electric vehicle car sharing program. The program will be in Roxbury. It will provide access to Roxbury residents and businesses, but is open to all. Thanks to generous funding from MassCEC, as part of its Accelerating Clean Transportation Now program, the program will provide a clean and convenient personal transportation option, with a focus on affordable access.

Car share is gaining popularity as a transportation alternative for those who cannot afford a car or choose not to own a car. Electric vehicle (EV) car sharing provides an introduction to clean, quiet EV technology. Sliding rates for use of the EVs will enable low-income residents to access personal transportation at very affordable costs. This service will complement public transportation. It will provide an option for errands, appointments, and for small business owners to deliver goods. The program also welcomes market-rate subscribers. Market-rate subscribers would pay slightly more than low-income users. Even for market-rate users, the cost of car sharing is below the average cost of car ownership.

Commissioner Greg Rooney stated, “Increasing equitable access to quality transportation choices and lowering the carbon footprint of Boston are key goals for the City; this project advances both of them. An income-tiered, electric vehicle car share program will expand sustainable transportation choices for residents of Roxbury and all Bostonians. It will also help increase exposure to electric vehicles, a mode we rely on to reach our 2050 carbon neutrality goal. We thank MassCEC, and our partners on this project for their investment and commitment to make our city even more thriving and resilient.”

Chris Cook, Chief of the Mayor's Office of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, said, “This community-owned electric vehicle car share in Roxbury is an exciting first for the City of Boston. To achieve Mayor Walsh's goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, electric vehicles and our Healthy Streets initiative are crucial in making our neighborhoods and communities safer, healthier, more equitable, and resilient. We thank MassCEC for helping us invest in Boston's communities and look forward to Roxbury residents, small businesses, and all Bostonians benefiting from this program.”

A zero emission vehicle (ZEV) is a vehicle that emits no tailpipe emissions from the onboard source of power, such as EVs. ZEVs generate fewer emissions than gas- and diesel-powered vehicles. Recharge Boston is the City of Boston’s program to encourage the use of EVs. The primary goal of the Recharge Boston program is to complement and support the goals of Go Boston 2030, the City's transportation plan. Go Boston 2030, aims to shift travelers away from personal vehicles to:

  • public transit
  • walking and biking, and
  • shared trips. 

We also need to make all remaining cars zero-emission vehicles. The City of Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan Update identified exploring sustainable models for community based EV car share as a high-priority strategy. This was an effort to support city-wide ZEV deployment and accelerate carbon reductions. The transition to ZEVs and expansion of EV car sharing is part of a broader investment of resources by Boston to lead on climate action and is supported by the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. Boston is one of the 25 winning cities in the Climate Challenge, which is helping cities set and surpass ambitious climate goals by ramping up action in the two highest-emitting sectors in cities: transportation and buildings. The City of Boston is committed to expanding sustainable and equitable transportation access, and is proud to be on the team that is scheduled to bring the first EV car share to Boston this upcoming year.

You can learn more about Recharge Boston, or about Care Share Boston.

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