Zipcar Innovation

map of zip cars near the White House

Zipcar is an intriguing idea where you rent cars by the hour. The whole process is a significant change from the previous rental model (gas, parking and insurance included). Zipcar makes deals with local governments to secure zipcar parking near public transportation. They also have deals with universities, apartment buildings and businesses all of which provides a new level of easy customer access with cars available in many locations. The internet is used to schedule and provide up to date information. It is a great idea for those in cities where you can design your life so a car is rarely needed. But having access to a car in those times can be very convenient.

The images show zipcars available near the White House in Washington DC. The White House is in the middle of the bottom of the image (Lafayette Square is immediately north of the White House).

The rates are not cheap when you look at per hour costs. But when you look at replacing the need for a car the savings can be large (if you do not drive too much). And for those that doing without a car is not realistic zipcar can be used for any needs for a second car. It is still a pretty large change in mindset. To try and help people give the idea a try Zipcar is trying the Zipcar Low-Car Diet challenge.

You agree to keep your car keys in your junk drawer for just one month, from July 21st through August 15th. In return, you get a loaded public transit pass, a free 1-year Zipcar membership, some driving time and more goodies that we’ll tell you about a little later.

During the month, we’ll ask that you check in and let us know how your diet’s going. You can send us emails, even video clips, to share your thoughts and stories. We’ll post excerpts on our website to help keep everyone motivated!

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Green Benefits include:

  • Over 40% of our members decide against purchasing a car, or end up selling their car
  • Car usage of individuals is reduced by as much as 50%
  • fewer parking spaces are required to meet the driving needs of the same number of people
  • Reduced demand for on-campus parking – each Zipcar takes 15 privately-owned vehicles off the road.
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4 Responses to Zipcar Innovation

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  4. Julie Davis says:

    I used zip car for the year when I went car free. It was great. I had a young child and so I could not bike, walk or bus everywhere, even in my small, public transportation friendly city. I would recommend them to anyone.

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