Q&A: CarShare Vermont

CarShare VT is an excellent local resource for young drivers who don’t yet have a car (and it’s featured on our Transportation page!).

This week, Alicia Taylor at CarShare VT explains how carsharing can not only get you from A to B, but can also help protect the environment and develop our community. Check out our Q&A below!

What is CarShare VT and how does it work?

CarShare Vermont is a Burlington-based nonprofit organization on a mission to provide an affordable, reliable, and convenient alternative to car ownership.

We have a neighborhood-based fleet of 22 vehicles parked in convenient locations throughout Burlington that our members can reserve and drive by the hour or day, 24/7. 

Who can apply for a CarShare membership?

If you’re 18 or over, with a good driving record, plus two years of driving experience, you’re in! If you’re unsure, you can review our eligibility requirements. Once approved, we’ll get you going in 1-2 business days.

How much does it cost to be a member?

We have a few different rate plans, including our MobilityShare plan, which offers free annual memberships with discounted driving rates to income-eligible individuals and households.

If you qualify for 3 Squares VT you qualify for MobilityShare! There’s a one-time application fee of $15-30, and then you pay by the hour or day plus mileage whenever you reserve a car.

How long can a car reservation be?

Members can book a vehicle for as little as 30 minutes or up to 10 days.

Where can members drive their cars?

Our vehicles can go anywhere in the U.S. and Canada!

What happens if the car you reserved runs out of gas or a charge?

Gas (and insurance) are always included in our driving rates. Every car has a gas card, and you can fill it up as needed. The vehicles need to be returned with at least a ¼ tank of gas at the end of your trip.

If you’re driving an electric vehicle, charge cards are also provided so you can charge up as needed during your trip. Each electric vehicle has a designed charging station at its parking spot that you can plug into at the end of your trip.

Sydney, the Toyota Prius Prime at the ONE Community Center

Let’s say someone wanted to take a car from 191 North Street in Burlington to the VGA in South Burlington. If they brought the car back after an hour, how much would the trip cost?

Here’s a breakdown of what that trip to the VGA would cost based on our different rate plans and whether you book a standard vehicle like the one at the ONE Community Center or a premium one like the one at the top of Church Street. Also, please note that our rates are changing on July 1 so these calculations reflect our new rates vs. what’s currently on the website.

Rate PlanStandard VehiclePremium Vehicle

What are the biggest perks of having a CarShare membership?

In addition to getting some excellent discounts at local businesses around town, carsharing is great for the environment, our community, and your wallet! It can help you:

  • Save money
    When you add up car payments, insurance, gas, and depreciation, the average car in Vermont costs well over $700 a month to own before it even leaves the driveway!
  • Protect the planet
    Owning a car increases driving, and driving is the most polluting activity most Vermonters undertake on a daily basis – accounting for over half of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Carsharing results in less driving.
  • Enhance our community
    By providing access to vehicles at a fraction of the cost of ownership, we help people get where they need to go more affordably. Our free MobilityShare plan ensures that everyone in our community has access to reliable and convenient transportation options regardless of income.

How can young adults in Chittenden County get the most out of CarShare?

If you’re eligible for membership, fill out an application today and join our carsharing community! You can learn more at carsharevt.org, call (802) 861-2340, or email info@carsharevt.org with any questions.

YIT Spotlight: The Power and Passion of Making People Laugh

By Katherine O’Day, Youth In Transition Program Coordinator

Tyresse at the Spectrum Drop-In Center in downtown St. Albans

ST. ALBANS — Tyresse Cooper is a 19-year-old Bellows Free Academy graduate and current St. Albans resident who has a passion for the performing arts. While he has been interested in acting since his freshman year, he only started acting his senior year of high school. Being engaged in drama class introduced Tyresse to a popular after-school improv group held every Thursday.

Knowing that he had a passion for improv, the St. Albans Youth in Transition program, “Youth For Change,” approached Tyresse to facilitate an improv group at the new(ish) Spectrum Drop-In Center in downtown St. Albans. Tyresse happily accepted the challenge. He used some ideas he learned from the after-school improv group and from his favorite YouTube improv troupe “Smosh” to successfully facilitate his first improv learning session. All of the youth who showed up participated, including two youth who were completely new to the space, the program, and to improv!

“If you can make someone laugh, it’s easier to get them to participate.”

“Being able to act out and express yourself and make other people laugh is something I think other people my age would be interested in doing: If you can make someone laugh, it’s easier to get them to participate,” Tyresse said.

While Tyresse is considering a future in acting, he is taking his time to really put some thought into it. He’s going to start by looking into acting opportunities near his hometown and around the state. His advice for young people who are interested in acting, is to “do it as soon as possible — don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.”

For more information about the Youth in Transition program in St. Albans, contact Heather at: Heather.Getty@ncssinc.org.

It’s Fair Housing Month!

Every year in April, Fair Housing month celebrates the creation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which protects people from housing discrimination in the United States. Here are four points about the Fair Housing Act you should know:

  1. The Fair Housing Act was signed into law on April 11, 1968 (it was actually Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, but came to be more commonly known as the Fair Housing Act). Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4th of that year, so Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the Fair Housing Act legislation to honor Dr. King’s memory.
  2. The original Fair Housing Act of 1968 protected people from housing discrimination “based on race, color, religion or national origin”. In 1974, “sex” was added to that list of protections. In 1988, disabled persons and families with children were added to the list of protected groups.
  3. Alongside the protections included in the federal Fair Housing Act, Vermont also protects people from housing discrimination based upon “age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, receipt of public assistance, or being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.”
  4. Unfortunately, despite the existence of the Fair Housing Act, many people are still impacted by housing discrimination. But you can help protect yourself and others by learning about and getting involved with community initiatives that support access to equitable housing in Vermont. Click here to see a list of Fair Housing Month events.

To learn more about the history that led to the creation of the Fair Housing Act, check out NPR’s short video about housing segregation and redlining in America:

Get Your Driver’s License

In Vermont, you must be 18 years old to get your driver’s license (junior driver’s licenses are available for 16- and 17-year-olds under certain circumstances). If you are under 18, you can begin the process by getting your learner’s permit and taking a driver’s education course.

If you are 18 or over, you can also start the process of getting your license by getting your learner’s permit. You will be able to schedule a road test at the DMV as soon as you have your permit; however, to make sure that you pass the road test, you will want to log some hours of driving practice with a licensed driver first.

Regardless of your age, getting help from a DMV-licensed driving instructor is a great way to start. Check out the list of instructors below!

Driver Education in Chittenden County

802 Driving School (Richmond)
Associates in Driving (Williston)
Be Cool Driving School (Burlington)
Cow Tales (Sheldon)
Epic Driving (Essex)
Precision Driver Training School (Essex)

Tax Season Resources

Tax Day is just around the corner! For the 2021 year, all Federal and Vermont state taxes must be filed by April 18th, 2022. So, if you haven’t filed yet, don’t worry – you still have time!

To get started, check out some of the free resources below:

Tax Preparation Assistance through CVOEO

If you would like someone to help you organize and file your taxes, CVOEO is offering free tax preparation appointments through April 15th. In Chittenden County, appointment times are available Monday through Thursday and Saturday of each week at the University Mall in South Burlington. To schedule an appointment, call 2-1-1.

In Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, tax appointments are available Monday through Friday of each week at 5 Lemnah Drive, Suite #5, in St. Albans. To schedule an appointment, call Rebecca at 802-527-7392 x107.


If you feel comfortable using an online platform, MyFreeTaxes allows users to file their taxes for free. You can either follow their program guidelines to file on your own, or you can ask for help from representatives. MyFreeTaxes is the product of a partnership between United Way and VITA (the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program).

Vermont Legal Aid’s Tax Resource List

To learn more about the entire filing process, Vermont Legal Aid has created a list of resources to help with a wide range of tax-related topics, such as income tax forms, health insurance forms, renter credits, and how to avoid tax scams. Vermont Legal Aid also offers language translation services, which you can access by calling 1-800-889-2047.

Other Free Filing Options Online

Some paid tax-filing websites offer free filing services to people who fall within certain Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) brackets for the 2021 year (You can find your AGI for the past year in Box No. 1 of your W-2. If you have more than one W-2, add the amounts listed in Box No. 1 of each form to get your total AGI). Here is a list:

OnLine Taxes – free for taxpayers whose 2021 AGI is between $16,000 and $73,000
1040NOW – free for Vermonters whose 2021 AGI is $32,000 or less
TaxSlayer – free for taxpayers whose 2021 AGI is $39,000 or less
FreeTaxUSA – free for taxpayers whose 2021 AGI is $41,000 or less
IRS Free File Program – free for taxpayers under 56 years old whose 2021 AGI is $65,000 or less
FileYourTaxes – free for taxpayers under 65 years old whose 2021 AGI is between $9,500 and $73,000

Learn How to Build a Budget

Creating a budget can seem like a stressful thing to do. Where do you start? How much money should you save? How can you track all of your spending?

Luckily, there are a ton of free resources out there to help you manage your money – without the headache.

Some great starting points include taking a financial planning class, downloading a budgeting app or playing financial literacy games online.

Financial Planning Classes

Growing Money Classes at CVOEO
CVOEO offers three classes geared towards growing your money: Spend SMART 1 & 2 (2 sessions), Keys to Credit (1 session) and Creating a Financial Future (2 sessions). If you want to learn about how to manage your money, reach your financial goals, or learn about credit and investing, these classes are a great place to start.

Financial Empowerment Classes for New Americans, which are also offered by CVOEO, cover a wide range of topics and are provided by CVOEO’s Community Ambassadors, who offer classes in French, Lingala, Maay Maay, Nepali, Somali, Spanish and Swahili.

Online Financial Management Classes at SEVCA
Southeastern Vermont Community Action offers four online workshops: Taking Control of Your Money – Creating a Budget, Set Your Goals – Manage Your Expenses, Credit – Tame the Credit Beast and Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money. March 2022 class dates are listed on their website.

Self-Guided Course Online at Hands on Banking
Through this course, you can learn about creating a spending plan, building credit, managing school loans and how continuing education after high school could fit into your financial future. Hands on Banking is provided by Wells Fargo.

Budgeting Apps

This app syncs to your bank accounts to track your income, purchases and savings. It includes a daily budget planner, automatically categorizes expenses for you, and allows you to create and track your own savings goals. Mint is a product of Inuit, who also produces TurboTax and has a strong reputation for keeping personal information secure.

For help using Mint, watch the YouTube tutorial below:

Goodbudget is a money management and expense tracking app. It is based on an “envelope system” and includes graphics to make planning a budget more fun. Goodbudget, which used to be known as Easy Envelope Budget Aid (EEBA), is a product of Dayspring Technologies, which is another company that prioritizes data security.

For help using Goodbudget, watch the YouTube tutorial below:

Online Games

Lights, Camera, Budget!
This game provides a fun way to learn about financial literacy topics while practicing budgeting skills. Players are positioned as movie producers who have been given $100 million to produce a movie. To get the movie produced, they must prove they have good personal finance skills to keep their budget on track.

The Budget Game
This game challenges players to pay bills, buy food, and plan fun activities on a three-month budget. (Note: game currencies are only available in Euros or British Pounds, but this does not affect the point of the game for users in the U.S.).

Throughout the game, players make a series of decisions related to meeting basic needs, health and education which impact their overall income. Often confronted with no “good” solutions to the issues that arise, players gain insight into the realities of managing a tight budget with few resources.


There are many different ways to begin learning how to manage and grow your money. Whether you choose to take a class, download a budgeting app or play money management games online, the sooner your start exploring, the sooner you can achieve your financial goals!

If you have had positive experiences with free financial planning resources that you don’t see listed here, share them via our contact form and we’ll post them to the site!