Car-Sharing Comes to Redwood City
A new car-sharing program expands transportation options for Redwood City residents, employees and transit riders. The program is part of a pilot project to reduce traffic congestion in the area by offering solo-drivers an array of transportation alternatives.
Zipcar, a national car-sharing agency, will station three hybrid cars at Sequoia Station, a downtown transit hub served by Caltrain and SamTrans.
The cars are a convenient option for workers who want to run errands during the work day as well as for people who do not own a car.
People can use the cars by signing up to for Zipcar membership on the company’s website: www.zipcar.com. Members can reserve cars by the hour or by the day at rates which include gas and insurance. Six additional cars will be parked at two other Redwood City locations in the future.
The innovative pilot program, “Making the Last Mile Connection,” also includes an effort to expand the number of San Mateo County employees who participate in the county’s work-from-home program. Of the 5,500 people employed by the county, only 196 "telecommute," or work from home. With support from the grant, the county will step up its training efforts for supervisors, allowing more people to work remotely, which will help reduce traffic congestion.
In addition to car-sharing and telecommuting, vanpools that take commuters from the transit center to office spaces in Redwood City or pick up residents at their homes or at communal meeting spots are included in the project. Employers will pay for 25 percent of the vanpool service with the grant covering the remaining costs.
Funds also will be used for a marketing campaign to get the word out about the program. The car-sharing program is the first piece of the comprehensive program to be implemented.
The pilot program will last for two years, after which time it will be evaluated to determine its effectiveness. Depending on the results, the practice could be replicated in other communities around the Bay Area.
“Making the Last Mile Connection” is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area’s regional transportation planning agency. Partners in the implementation include the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance, San Mateo County, and the City of Redwood City. Funding partners include SamTrans, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, and the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County.
Media Contact: Christine Dunn, 650-508-6238