Expertise for Communities

Cambridge new zoning: Shared Electric Vehicle Chargers, private car share programs and micromobility rental

Monday, March 21, 2022 3:46 PM | Leonardi Aray (Administrator)

Cambridge is reviewing zoning to allow shared Electric Vehicle Chargers, private car share programs and expanded micromobility rental platforms.

The City of Cambridge has started consideration of a zoning amendment that would allow owners of Electric Vehicle charging stations in residential districts to offer their chargers for rent to people who lack access to their own EV charger. The zoning amendment would also allow individuals to rent their private cars and host micromobility platforms like Bird Scooters in residential districts. All three of these activities are currently illegal in residential districts because they are considered commercial uses that zoning does not allow. The zoning petition will be heard by the Cambridge Planning Board on May 3rd and the Ordinance Committee on May 4th.

Filed by former 7-term Cambridge City Councilor Craig Kelley and called the Cambridge Transportation De-Carbonization and Congestion Mitigation Bill, this zoning petition is a necessary step to meet Cambridge’s stated goal of electrifying personal cars because, as in many urban areas, most Cambridge residents lack access to a dedicated driveway space in which they can charge an EV and public charging spots are very inconvenient. The Bill would also expand the reductions in personal car ownership attributed to car share companies like Zipcar by allowing anyone to rent their vehicle no matter where they live. Platform-based peer-to-peer car share programs like Turo and Getaround already operate throughout America, including in Cambridge, and modifying zoning to meet this reality will help them expand their services. Finally, allowing micromobility platforms to operate in residential districts will create market competition to Blue Bike and help this important personal mobility option expand in dense urban markets.

To learn more about this ground-breaking zoning proposal or to get involved in helping assure its passage, contact CPM member Craig Kelley at or read the zoning text here

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