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Great Escape: Hit the Road in Borrowed Wheels

With Brookline's car-sharing programs, you can ditch the mamamobile and treat yourself to a hot ride.

One of the perks of living in Brookline is the convenience of having everything so close. It’s walkability, combined with a strong MBTA train and bus network, means that many in Brookline can get by without a car.  

But what if you need a little escape? A reunion with girlfriends in Portsmouth? A wedding on the Cape? A day of hitting the outlets in Kittery?  A concert in Worcester? Antiquing in Brimfield? Sometimes a car is needed and car-sharing services have filled that gap for many Brookliners. Zipcar, for example, has cars throughout Brookline that are available to members starting at $7.50 an hour (including gas and 180 free miles). An annual membership costs $60, and detailed pricing and plans can be found on their website.

Even if you already have a car, car-sharing sevices can still be a blessing. Who wants to take off for a fun grown-up day out and still be squeezed in by car seats and have Cheerios stuck to your bottom? With Zipcar, you can ditch the mamamobile and step into a pristine vehicle. Their Brookline fleet currently includes a Mini Cooper, Honda Civic, Volvo S40, Kia Sol, Nissan Altima, Audi A3, Mazda 3, Honda Insight Hybrid and an aptly named Ford Escape. My daughter was recently invited to a drop-off party in Beverly, so I seized the opportunity to book a Mini Cooper and got two hours to myself zipping around the North Shore in a fun, cute car that is totally impractical for my family, but a blast for a short escape. I swear my daughter was greeted by a much more relaxed mommy after two hours to myself driving around with the sun roof open in that adorable car.

Not sure where to escape to? A Zipcar membership can also help facilitate your destinations. Their membership provides discounts to: The Boston Ballet, the Boston Lyric Opera, the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Improv Asylum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Shawnee Peak, Waterville Valley and more.

Looking for an alternative to Zipcar? Somerville-based is now offering car-sharing services in Brookline as well. The company rents its cars for as little as $5 an hour for members, but offers fewer vehicle options that its larger competitor.

Note: Zipcar’s “wheels when you want them” model has been quite successful, so make sure you reserve ahead of time, especially if you want a specific type of car. If you don’t see it the one you want in Brookline, expand your search to Boston since there are many close by on our borders. Enjoy your escape!

DebbieFre April 26, 2011 at 12:54 PM
An another great options: Boston’s “freshest transportation alternative” Mint Cars On-Demand – www.drivemint.com. Mint Cars are available throughout Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge (with more being added all the time) and are available on demand 24/7 and feature live, local customer service and always lower rates. They’re offering free membership and no application fee if you’re already a carsharing member, and $25 in free drive time just to check it out, just use promo code LAUNCH.

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