ITHACA, N.Y.—Transportation from downtown to Ithaca’s West Hill has been a longstanding issue for many residents who feel isolated from the services beyond the inlet. Ithaca Carshare, the local non-profit which aims to make transportation eco-friendly and accessible is aiming to combat the problem by expanding its fleet onto Chestnut Street.

The new location for a vehicle accessible to members 24/7 on-demand is on the east side of Chestnut, facing Elm Street.

“Carsharing is a cost-effective alternative to owning a car. It works well for folks who walk, bike, take public transit or use other ways to get around, do not often rely on vehicles for long-distance or multi-day trips, and do not rely on a car for a daily commute,” an announcement from the organization says.

It goes on to tout that the “average monthly bill for an active user is under $100, whereas the average car owner may spend $700 or more a month between purchase, maintenance, insurance, and gas.”

Ithaca Carshare offers annual or monthly membership plans, with associated hourly and mileage rates for car use. There is a reduced cost “Easy Access” plan available to individuals with household income at or below 150 percent Federal Poverty level, which includes driving credits and a low monthly fee for access to Carshare’s lowest hourly rates. Gas and insurance are included in the Ithaca Carshare membership as well.

This is just the latest in local attempts to bridge the gap between downtown and West Hill. In 2018 Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) announced the new Route 14S, or the “West Hill Shopper,” with direct service between Overlook Apartments and Cayuga  Meadows and Walmart, Tops and Wegmans. The new route eliminated the need for West Hill area riders to transfer downtown, significantly adding to the time trips to the grocery store took.

For those looking to use Carshare as an alternative to the bus for grocery shopping, the organization points out the cost for an hour trip is around $7 to $10.

All new applicants to Ithaca Carshare who reside on West Hill can earn a one-time $15 promotional credit to apply towards driving, by entering a code “CHESTNUT21” during the application process. The credit is valid for six months from the date it is added.

To learn more and apply for membership, visit Questions about membership and carsharing may be directed to Ithaca Carshare member services’ team at or via phone at (607) 277-3210.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at