Today’s Headlines

  • In Senate Debate Over "Cash for Clunkers," McCain’s Talking Sense, Schumer’s Not (News, CBS2)
  • Hit and Run Drivers Kill Two Pedestrians in Separate Incidents (NYT)
  • Livery Driver Plows Into Queens Street Fair, Injuring 13 (News, Post)
  • DOT Commish Gives a 12-Minute Interview to CBS2‘s Marcia Kramer
  • What One Bronx Woman Wants for Her Play Street: More Car-Free Hours, Fewer NYPD Towers (NYT)
  • The Times and the Post Bring Us a Pair of Stories on Parking Enforcement
  • Shocker: Dealers and Buyers Have Good Things to Say About Cash for Clunkers (NYT, News)
  • Seattle’s New Light Rail Line Opens After a Very Long Gestation Period (NYT)
  • MTA Confirms It Will Split Congestion-Plagued B61 Into Two Routes Next Year (Brooklyn Paper)
  • Zipcar’s Promos Are Killing Its Livable Streets Cred (PSFK via NYFI)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • I hope this isn’t Zipcar’s adjustment to feedback like what I gave them in January.

    I saw a street promo of theirs which featured one of their cars. For absolutely no good reason, the kids working the event had left the thing idling. When I told them they should turn it off, I got a smartass reply from one of them, and they didn’t turn it off. I emailed the company and got a polite and serious reply.

    This new promo is also no good, but perhaps they do seriously consider direct feedback. Maybe a few emails on how promos like this are unhelpful can help steer them a little greener.

  • Car Free Nation

    Zipcar often parks their cars in no-parking zones during their promos. It sends the wrong message. While I’ve never seen them block the bike lane, their choice of parking spots have occasionally forced cars into the bike lane.

    My guess is they outsource marketing to a company that just doesn’t get it. In any case, since Zipcar got big, there’s been a noticeable drop in customer service.

  • Boris

    It’s too bad JSK didn’t address John Liu’s “liberal elite” point directly (CBS2 video), but I guess she has to be a politician along with the rest of them.

  • RE: In Senate Debate Over “Cash for Clunkers,” McCain’s Talking Sense, Schumer’s Not

    Now that the Democrats have taken full control from the Republicans, they’ve discovered that, gee, voters love it when you shower them with “free” gifts. Make no mistake, all Chuck Schumer cares about is Chuck Schumer’s next election.

  • Mark, how much does a car-rental company have to pay to be mentioned by name in Today’s Headlines? It lowers your credibility when you shill for products and services in this way.

  • RE: Livery Driver Plows Into Queens Street Fair, Injuring 13

    Those pesky things are just so hard to control. They’re always escaping their leash and crashing into people and stuff.

  • Ian Turner

    Jonathan, did you read the linked article? In what way is this post a shill?

  • If anything, it’s anti-Zipcar. I think the original post is perfectly appropriate.

  • Ian, it’s not news. Writing about marketing is just marketing itself, and getting an impartial voice like Streetsblog to mention your marketing is just about the holy grail of the discipline.

  • Josh

    Re. Cash For Clunkers: Yes, a blatant subsidy to car dealers and manufacturers at the expense of future debt, but no more so now than it was when it was initially approved. It didn’t seem to bother people then, so I guess it’ll probably get extended.

    Re. Zipcar: Is it possible that we here have read a little too much livable-streets-related motivation into their business? Their objective isn’t livable streets, their objective is to get people to rent cars so they can make money.

  • Glenn

    Free Crosstown buses??

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/03/bloomberg-calls-for-free-crosstown-buses/#comment-487515

    Interesting proposal…would be better if it came with some additional operating assistance…

  • Free crosstown buses: Bad idea. The ones that cross Central Park are crowded enough. They’re slow because people get on and off and have to push through crowds to reach the doors. And the ride is effectively free anyway to holders of unlimited metrocards as well those with pay-per-ride metrocards who transfer from the subway. I just don’t think eliminating swiping will make that much difference.

  • Shemp

    The MetroCard dip (not swipe) is hugely time consuming when anything more than two people get on (and gets worse when someone has no money on the card or starts feeding nickels), and prevents boarding through both doors. As Mark points out, they are largely free already.

  • I guess the question is: Which is more likely to slow down bus service — the card dip (thanks Shemp) or the presence of new, “free” riders getting on and off? It might be worth running a pilot project to find out, before going to “free” service on all crosstown routes.

  • Shemp

    Well put – that is the question.

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