So, you want to get around, but you don't want to buy a car — and the thought of public transportation leaves you with chills (especially since your job and home aren't on the bus line). If you lived in Atlanta or even Winston-Salem, you'd have another option: Zipcar.
What is Zipcar? Well, it's the service that allows you to use a car for an hour or for the day. You can reportedly drive up to 180 miles without having to worry about paying for gas or insurance.
Zipcar users sign up on the company's Web site and get a Zipcard, which they wave in front of the car they reserved to lock and unlock the car. The keys are inside and the driver is then able to use the car for what they need. And if the car is low on gas, Zipcar spokesman John Williams, says there is a credit card inside that allows the driver to fill up.
According to Williams, Zipcar has been around for a decade, and the company is currently expanding into university markets. In North Carolina, you can use Zipcar at Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Elon and Wake Forest universities.
"Colleges have to decide if they are in the education business or the parking business," says Williams. "A lot of times, you have schools that have limited space and a lot of times, they put restrictions on the students and don't allow first-year students to bring their cars. So, they give back with Zipcar."
Cool idea. Sadly, Williams says he isn't aware of any plans to bring Zipcar to Charlotte. Our fair city's size seems to be working against us.
"Zipcar goes into bigger cities where people can make an effort not to have a car," Williams says. "Fewer people who live in smaller cities can give up their cars, and they don't have the economic pressures like people in big cities." Williams noted that in Seattle, it can cost between $200 and $300 a month just to park a vehicle.
Still, he adds, "Just because I'm not aware of [discussions about bringing Zipcar to Charlotte], it doesn't mean that they aren't going on."
For more information (or to demand that the service comes here!), visit www.zipcar.com.