Sunday, June 29, 2003
| 2 Corinthians 8:7-15

Live in the big city and don’t have — or want — a car? In some cities there is now a program where a dozen or more people can share a car for just a few bucks a month. Called a Flexcar, this program saw a need and found a way to invent and create a way to meet it.

Monica Belmonte is anti-car. Doesn’t own one, doesn’t want one.
But that doesn’t mean she never drives. She has found that there are some everyday errands that simply cannot be performed using buses, subways, taxis or a metal shopping cart.

In those situations, she uses a Flexcar.

Here’s how it works: It’s a Saturday at 8 a.m. Belmonte walks into a garage in Washington, D.C., and slips into Flexcar 791 — an immaculate forest-green Honda Civic. This Flexcar is shared by a couple of dozen people for a $25 lifetime fee and a monthly charge, such as five hours for $35. Belmonte has booked it for two hours.

She adjusts her seat and punches a code into a black lockbox to get the ignition key. Firing up the engine, she’s off: first to a nearby drop-box for used clothing, then to the grocery store. She returns to the car with bags of food, loads them in and then zips off to another store for olive oil and wine. Then it’s home to unload and back to the Flexcar lot, racing against the clock.


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