Car Sharing in High Demand - NBC Southern California

Car Sharing in High Demand

Demand for ZipCar service "bursting at the seams"



    Car Sharing in High Demand

    We know, we know... who shares a car in Los Angeles?

    UCLA and USC students apparently, and they can't get enough of the "Zipcar" service.

    The pilot project is "bursting at the seams at USC."  Both USC and UCLA got six cars to start, but within in a month bumped up the number to 10.  Zipcar reported to the Los Angeles city council that the demand gew 15-20 percent in the first six months at the schools, and 30 percent in the first year.

    Here is how "Zipcar" works.  You sign up to become a member, pay a monthly fee, and you have access to a car that is shared by people around you.  You log onto a sign up sheet and reserve the time you need the car.  Participants use a magnetic card to gain access to the car that is usually parked in a designated "Zipcar" parking space.

    The idea is that it cuts down on fuel costs, carbon footprints, and super "green."

    But there are problems. KPCC reports that the parking permit division is running the program -- and they're understaffed. Plus, there is the problem of parking itself.

    KPCC reports:

    The pilot program dedicates parking spaces on city streets for the Zipcars to return to when they're checked back in. Like a little public rental car site. Except it turns out the public can't find parking around USC or UCLA either and they steal the poor little Zipcar's spots. They're ticketing, and they stepped it up, but it sounds like the deterrent, the big stick, is impounding cars. Hard to tell if that's working yet.

    LADOT general manager Rita Robinson said she wants a more goal-oriented use of the car-share program like putting cars around rail and transit stations.