Zipcar, Meet Zipbike

Two remarkably similar yet fundamentally different campaigns are underway to promote vehicle sharing in the city.

Earlier this month the Brooklyn Record noted a new web site devoted to attracting Zipcar service to Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

Zip Fort Greene says, "The closest [ZipCar] wheels are a brisk 15 minute walk (and once construction zipcar_09_1.jpgbegins on the Atlantic Yards project, getting a Zipcar for some weekend shopping — forget about it)." The site has an online petition, which as of this writing has attracted 142 signees, in hopes of luring the company to establish a neighborhood "pod."

As Brooklyn Record points out, Zipcar stresses the "green benefits" of its service, which it touts as "a utility — as valuable as electricity, heat, and hot water." According to Zipcar, many of its clients drive less and purchase and maintain fewer cars.

"With each Zipcar replacing over 20 privately-owned vehicles," the company says,  "we’re changing the urban landscape." (In more ways than one.)

Meanwhile, an alliance between Transportation Alternatives and Clear Channel Communications could bring bike-sharing to New York, reports the Sun.

The program would work very much like Zipcar — only with bikes. For a nominal annual fee, members would use a smart card to access the bikes at kiosks, with additional charges based on the how long the bike is rented.

The memberships and fees will ideally discourage stealing, according to T.A. Deputy Director Noah Budnick. As of now, three kiosks are planned — for the East Village, Long Island City and Governors Island — each equipped with about 100 bikes.

The proposal, which would require city approval, is modeled on successful efforts in Lyon, France, Stockholm, Sweden and Portland, Oregon.

Paris is about to debut a massive program of its own, with 1,450 kiosks and 20,000 bikes.

The New York program would be funded through Clear Channel ads on the bikes and at the kiosks — another similarity to Zipcar, which plasters ads on its vehicles. Clear Channel already sponsors bike-sharing in Sweden, Spain, France and Norway, and should be coming soon to D.C. and Chicago.

Image: Moskow Architects 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

STREETSBLOG USA

Avis Acquires Zipcar: What Are the Implications?

|
In a sign of the increasing market for car-sharing, Avis car rental is expected to purchase Zipcar today for a tidy $500 million. With the acquisition, the car rental giant will begin offering short-term car rentals, as have competitors Global and Enterprise. Car-sharing has the potential to help households make more trips via transit, biking, […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Zipcar Goes Public, Seattle Times Goes Road-Crazy, Commuters Go By Bike

|
Today on the Network, a celebration of the growth of car-sharing, some thoughts on overcoming crazy anti-transit rhetoric and an innovative strategy for encouraging bike commuting. The Perfect Simplicity of Zipcar: In honor of its initial public offering, Rob Pitingolo at Network blog Extraordinary Observations pays tribute to Zipcar. The growing car-sharing service is not […]

Zipcar Takes the Anti-Urban Route

|
Photo via PSFK While Zipcar looks to entice drivers to give up vehicle ownership, another pillar of its marketing strategy is that car-sharing is an environmentally friendly service for city dwellers who normally travel by other means, presumably including public transit and even their own two feet. This is why a couple of recent Zipcar […]

50 DOT Fleet Vehicles Replaced By 25 Zipcars

|
The Department of Transportation will soon be using Zipcars instead of city-owned vehicles, Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced at a press conference yesterday. The initiative is intended to reduce unnecessary driving by DOT employees and could yield significant savings if expanded to the city’s entire passenger vehicle fleet. […]

Hoboken Launches First Citywide Car-Sharing Program in U.S.

|
Today marks the launch of what Hoboken officials are calling the first citywide car-sharing initiative in the country, with 42 shared cars parked on the streets of the mile-square city. The "Corner Cars" program, which is intended to reduce car-ownership rates, could provide a model for expanding car-sharing across the Hudson. What happens in Hoboken […]