The future is sharing. First, file sharing revolutionized (or, some would argue, doomed) the music industry. Land sharing came into vogue with the increasing popularity of community gardens in urban neighborhoods. Now, shared transportation is poised to change the way we move in and around the city.
Recently, after a few years of flirting with us, Zipcar, the innovative Cambridge- based car sharing service, finally made its move to Providence. The membership service allows folks in need of wheels to pick up a vehicle at any Zipcar location, use it for a few hours or a few days, and then drop it back off at any other location. The whole concept is convenient, inexpensive and eco-friendly. There are no storefronts, just parking spots where the cars wait to be driven, and the models are all small, fuel efficient and city friendly. They even have quirky names, like “Fajita,” the Ford Focus who lives on South Main Street, or “Britni,” the Scion xB over on the West Side’s Grove Street. The service provides city dwellers who only need a car some of the time with easy access to a ride without the burdens of ownership. Providence is Zipcar’s 15th market.
Similarly, bike sharing is another membership service that’s changing the way many cities move. Although Providence doesn’t yet have one, the City issued a draft Bike Share Feasibiity Study last year that concluded “Providence is poised for a successful bike share system.” Look for more shared transportation than ever parked outside a Whole Foods or Fair Trade coffee shop near you.