Like most people, when I say "innovation" I think first about technology. Yet we've known since the 1970 publication of the book Future Shock that people (and their institutions) change far more slowly than technology. And we know from the first few years of the smart city revolution that the biggest obstacles to progress are not technology but financing and policy.
That's why we are pleased to tip our hat this week to Smart Cities Council Associate Partner Zipcar for their work pioneering a new business model for automobile transportation. I confess that I am still skeptical about the so-called "sharing economy" and how far it will overtake the market economy. But we can't discover and test new ways of doing things without the leadership of innovators such as Zipcar. – Jesse Berst
Zipcar Fuels Smart, Simple Living in America's Finest City; Expands Car Sharing in San Diego
Company makes wide variety of vehicles available by the hour or day, giving residents and businesses access to convenient, cost effective and flexible transportation
BOSTON, Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning today, Zipcars will be available by the hour or by the day for residents, students, businesses and visitors in San Diego. The service offers a smart, affordable and convenient alternative to car ownership for savvy consumers; an alternative to pricey fleet vehicles for businesses; and a fun and flexible option for people who need occasional access to a different type of car, such as convertible, hybrid, pickup or SUV. With gas, insurance, 180 free miles per day included in the simple fee, Zipcar offers residents and businesses transportation without compromise.
Nearly 50 Zipcars are parked in prime locations throughout downtown San Diego's neighborhoods such as East Village and Little Italy, including commercial properties such as the Irvine Company's NBC and Wells Fargo buildings, as well as at the San Diego International Airport. The vehicles, which can be reserved from a minute up to a year in advance, are parked in reserved parking spots ensuring their availability for members. Rates start as low as $9 per hour and $73 per day (24 hours). Membership information is available at https://www.zipcar.com/
"With our wide variety of vehicles, reserved parking spots and advance reservations, Zipcar is a flexible and reliable option for San Diegans looking for an alternative -- or supplement -- to car ownership," said Zipcar President, Mark Norman. "We're thrilled to build on our success in San Diego by expanding our 'wheels when you want them' service to more people in more places."
Zipcar already enjoys a strong presence in San Diego as a result of its many years serving the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, the University of California, San Diego and Point Loma Nazerene, where thousands of students, faculty, staff and local residents have come to rely on the availability, consistency and cost savings of Zipcar's service. Zipcar's service in California now stretches from San Diego to San Francisco, extending the benefits of membership to people who live in San Diego but travel to other cities in California for work or play.
The expanded service area also includes a wide variety of vehicles. For families who need a little more space for getaways to places like the San Diego Zoo, Zipcar offers the Ford Focus Hatchback "Shorkey" with room for five. The Mini Cooper "Maniac" is a great option to get outdoors and visit the many beaches and state parks in and around the city. The luxury Audi A3 is perfect for packing the golf clubs and heading to La Jolla and Torrey Pines, and "Trigger" the Nissan Frontier pickup makes hauling the surfboards a snap.
Employees of local businesses San Diego will benefit from Zipcar's presence through the Zipcar for Business program that offers discounted driving rates Monday through Friday. This program helps businesses save money, meet environmental sustainability goals and reduce parking requirements by providing their employees with access to Zipcars for business needs and other uses.
Zipcar's car sharing service is a key part of integrated mobility services in cities around the world, and is the only car sharing model that has been proven to reduce parking demand, traffic congestion and overall emissions while also helping to increase public transit ridership, walking and biking.
About Zipcar Zipcar, the world's leading car sharing network, has operations in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for smart, simple and convenient solutions to their urban and campus transportation needs. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a global leader in car sharing and vehicle rental services. More information is available at https://www.zipcar.com/.