Montgomery County today announced the introduction of six new Zipcar and Hertz On Demand locations in Bethesda and North Bethesda, part of an effort to increase transportation options in crowded urban areas.

The County Department of Transportation put on a competitive bid process to allow vendors to choose locations for their cars.

The county will provide public parking spaces to Zipcar and Hertz. The companies will pay established parking rates for use of the spaces.

“We are pleased to welcome the expansion of car sharing in Montgomery County with Hertz on Demand and Zipcar,” said MCDOT Director Art Holmes in a county press release. “Car sharing protects the environment while enhancing our smart growth and sustainable transportation initiatives – and does so in a cost-effective way.”

There were five Zipcar locations and eight cars already in Bethesda, according to Bethesda Transportation Solutions, a division of the nonprofit Bethesda Urban Partnership.

The car sharing concept, first introduced by Zipcar in 2000, offers cars to rent on a hourly or daily basis. Hertz and a number of other competitors have since joined the fray.

The new Bethesda Zipcar locations are the Metropolitan Garage (7601 Woodmont Ave.), Bethesda Avenue between Woodmont Avenue and Arlington Road (Bethesda Row), Cordell Avenue between Woodmont Avenue and Norfolk Avenue (Woodmont Triangle) and Executive Boulevard between Rockville Pike and Woodglen Drive (North Bethesda).

Hertz On Demand will come to the Metropolitan Garage and the Middleton Lane Parking Lot (4838 Middleton Lane).

Six new locations were also announced for Silver Spring. One Zipcar location went to Wheaton.

In its press release, the county said it hopes the availability of car sharing will help some residents go “car free,” or provide a second car for households with one vehicle and only an occasional need for a second vehicle.

Flickr photo by akseabird