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Saturday, April 25, 2009

We need Zipcars in Cincinnati

Living car-free anywhere can be a bit of a challenge. It's even more difficult in Cincinnati where our transit options are limited to bus service.

With that said living car-free is definitely possible and I know several people that are able to make it work even here in Cincy. One thing that could make living car-free a lot more feasible would be the use of Zipcars.

Zipcar is a carsharing company that allows people to get a membership and use the cars on an as needed basis. Basically what you do is you get a membership (which gets you a Zipcard) and then go and get a car when you absolutely need one. You just walk up to the car, wave your Zipcard over the windshield, get in and start driving (keys, gas card and insurance are all awaiting you).

Presently there is no Zipcar service in any Ohio city (closest locations are Chicago & Pittsburgh), but Cleveland does boast its own carsharing club called Citywheels. The Ohio State University, in Columbus, used to have its own Zipcar service that came to a close in January 2009. It's about time that Cincinnati get into carsharing and introduce Zipcars to our urban core.


DP said...

I think the YPKC Transportation Committee may be trying to raise some interest in this...but maybe you already knew that.

Randy Simes said...

Yeah, when I served on the Transportation Committee there was interest in this, but a proposal had not yet been put through the process while I was there. I'm not sure where they are currently at in this process or how active they are in making this reality. If I hear anything I'll be sure to report back and update the story.

kcitti said...

Funny you bring this up. I emailed zipcar a few weeks ago and told them of potentialy burgeoning opportunities in Cincinnati. Their response seemed fairly disinterested.

My assumption is that if they can't get it to work in Columbus, a liberal city, then there is no way they can make it work in Mayberry.

Sean F. said...

I did my thesis on carsharing in Cincinnati, and it would take some major corporate buy in to make it happen. Most successful carsharing cities have a density equal to or greater than Cincinnati's, rail transportation, and a business community that promises the carsharing service a decently sized base to start off with.

This actually saves the companies (and municipal governments when they join the effort) as they can replace the cost and maintenance of company cars with one rented by the hour.

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