The TTC has offered up some commuter spots to the rapid rental service Zipcar in an effort to expand their transit offerings.
Four TTC stations will have two cars each. The service, which requires a $65 annual membership, allows users to rent cars for $8.50 an hour, including gas and insurance. Users must book the cars in advance.
"I've always looked at Zipcar as a complement to transit," said Zipcar general manager Michael Lende.
The reservation can be completed from any computer or through the company's iPhone and Android apps. Mr. Lende said one could make a reservation right outside the subway station as long as the car is available.
The cars are equipped with card readers under the windshield. Users wave their card over the reader; it unlocks and keys are on the dashboard.
The rental includes 200 kilometres and the vehicle must be returned to the spot where it was picked up.
Zipcar has an existing partnership with the TTC, offering Metropass holders a discounted annual membership rate of $30.
TTC chairwoman Karen Stintz said the arrangement is in line with the overall plan for the transit system. "Our plan is about customer service," she said, adding that they will see how the cars fare at four locations and consider expanding the program.
Mr. Lende points at another benefit: their surveys show Zipcar users report 47 per cent more transit use after becoming members.
The agreement places two vehicles at Eglinton West, Wilson, Keele and Leslie stations. The TTC is charging Zipcar $150 per month for each spot, bringing in a total of $1,200 per month.
Zipcar operates in over 60 cities across Canada, U.S. and the U.K. They have more than 500,000 registered memberships and also partner with Chicago's public transit system.