Transportation
1:12 pm
Thu January 20, 2011

ZipCar Starts Hourly Rental Service on Campus

Wondering why those green signs are taking up parking spots on the UT campus? That’s ZipCar and they are now on campus. It’s similar to the Car2Go car-sharing program in Austin. ZipCar is also on the Baylor and Rice University campuses.

Students, faculty, staff and community members can rent out a ZipCar vehicle. You’ve probably seen them parked at Gregory Gym and near some dorms. The company rents out full-sized vehicles like trucks and mid-sized sedans. Cars can be rented from an hour to as long as four days.

ZipCar's Matthew Malloy tossed out flyers on campus yesterday hoping to grab some new customers.                                                      

“They want to be able to take the car everywhere,” he said. “You are not really limited to where you can take the car. It’s like personal car ownership, but you are only paying for when you use it.”

Malloy said people can take the car out of town if they need to.

The company is bound to face competition from the Car2Go program, although Malloy said he wasn’t worried about the competition.

The City of Austin, meanwhile, is continuing its car sharing contract with Car2Go on a month-to-month basis. The city is putting together a request for proposals for a citywide car share franchise. A memo issued by Austin's Transportation Department says more than 1,300 city employees signed up to become members of the Car2Go pilot program, with 400 active users.