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Those without cars in the North Buffalo and Grant-Amherst areas have a new option to get around with the expansion of Buffalo CarShare.

The nonprofit organization announced Thursday that it has added its 17th vehicle to its fleet of gas, hybrid and full-electric cars. The vehicles are available for $8 an hour.

The additional vehicle will occupy the space long reserved for Automobius, the two-way car designed for the Burchfield Penney Art Center’s 2003 Public Art on Wheels project, and a longtime fixture at Joe’s Service Center, at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Amherst Street.

CarShare is a service that provides “an alternative to ownership but is cheaper than a taxi,” said Creighton Randall, CarShare’s executive director.

“It’s really an affordable way to get around to doctor’s appointments, job interviews, maybe going out to the movies and a whole host of activities,” Randall said. “Even though we have nearly a third of our households in the City of Buffalo that don’t own a car, they can still have the same quality of life as those of us who can afford a car.”

Service station owner Mark Kubiniec said he expects students, bicyclists, young families and older residents to benefit from the new CarShare option.

North Council Member Joseph Golombek, who was among the politicians attending the announcement at Joe’s Service Center, hailed the program’s expansion.

“This is one of the newer trends in repopulating and rejuvenating cities across the country,” Golombek said. “A program like this is environmentally sound. It’s good for the City of Buffalo. It shows the old adage that Buffalo is always behind the times isn’t true. And last but not least, it’s cool.”

Buffalo CarShare serves 650 members and works with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Center and SUNY Buffalo State.

Under a promotional offer, those from the 14207 and 14216 ZIP codes who sign up by the end of the year to become members will receive a three-hour driving credit.

For more information, call 898-0850.

email: msommer@buffnews.com