Zipcar Service for Residents and Local College Students
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced today the expansion of a car- sharing service for UCLA and USC students, as well as for residents of nearby communities.
Zipcar, the world's largest car-sharing company, teamed with the city to provide 42 rental cars, which students and city residents can access from the campuses and from reserved parking spots in the surrounding communities.
"Los Angeles may be the car capital of the world, but through this partnership among universities, Zipcar and the city of Los Angeles, we are opening the door to make car ownership optional for people who live or work here," Villaraigosa said. "Providing alternatives to car ownership will help improve the environment and the city's traffic congestion."
To use the cars, those eligible for the service may make a reservation online at www.zipcar.com/LA, or by calling (866) 494-7227.
Zipcar charges a rental fee of $8 per hour or $66 per day on weekdays, and $9 per hour or $72 per day on weekends. The price covers the cost of gasoline, insurance and roadside assistance.
USC and UCLA students must be 18 or older to drive a Zipcar. Those who are not students must be over 21.
Zipcar's president and chief operating officer, Mark Norman, said reserving, accessing and using the cars is as easy as getting cash from an ATM.
In minutes, and up to a year in advance, Zipcar members can reserve cars online or by phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The city's contribution to the partnership was allowing Zipcar to use its reserved parking spots at no charge.
Zipcar today added 12 cars to its original fleet of 30 at UCLA, USC, and the surrounding communities. Two Zipcars may be found at each of the following intersections near USC: 32nd Street and University Avenue; West 29th Street and Orchard Avenue.; and West Adams and Portland streets.
Near UCLA, pairs of Zipcars may be found at Midvale and Rochester avenues; Roebling and Levering avenues; Strathmore Drive and Landfair Avenue.
"The new vehicles will be within a five-minute walk of more than 10,000 Angelenos," Villaraigosa said.
He added he hopes to expand the program over time because each Zipcar is believed to take between 15 and 20 personally owned vehicles off the road.
Norman said Zipcar members have reported saving more than $600 a month or $7,200 a year in transportation costs. They also reported a 47 percent increase in use of public transportation, a 10 percent increase in bicycling trips and a 26 percent increase in walking trips.
Zipcar has more than 325,000 drivers in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, sharing 6,500 vehicles.Â