Metro and Zipcar Place Car-Share Cars At Metro Parking Lots
Last Friday, Metro and Zipcar announced a new partnership that places car-share vehicles at ten Metro station parking lots. The new program was announced via a press conference at the North Hollywood Red Line Station. Speakers included Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti, Metro Boardmember Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Metro’s new CEO Phil Washington, and Zipcar Regional Vice President Dan Grossman. The cars are available and ready now.
Mayor Garcetti touted $36 billion in transportation investment, but it may be these sorts of high-tech, low-cost, quick mobility wins that will the extend the reach and convenience of Metro’s rail and bus systems into Los Angeles neighborhoods. Examples include Metro bike-share, debuting downtown by early 2016, and LADOT’s fare-payment app.
Both Garcetti and Washington emphasized that this new car-share program is part of implementation of Metro’s First Last Mile Strategic Plan, though early action on car-share was prompted by this July 2014 Metro board motion [PDF] by Garcetti, with boardmembers Pam O’Connor and Mike Bonin. Expanding car-share also dovetails with Garcetti’s sustainability pLAn which aims to increase car-share/bike-share/ride-share from its current 0.9 percent of L.A. City trips to 5 percent by 2035. Washington emphasized the need for innovative “mobility on demand” that would seamlessly connect travel by airplane, train, bus, car, bike, and foot.
At North Hollywood, the Zipcar parking spots are located in the southern parking lot, very close to the escalators. If you’re coming up the escalator, look for them on the left, just past the bike parking.
The ten new Zipcar locations, at least one on each Metro rail line plus more on the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit line, are:
- Blue Line: Willow Station
- Expo Line: La Cienega Station
- Gold Line: Indiana and Lincoln/Cypress Stations
- Green Line: El Segundo Station
- Orange Line: Pierce College and Van Nuys Stations (and NoHo Red Line)
- Red Line: North Hollywood, Universal City, and MacArthur Park (also on Purple Line) Stations
In other car-share news, in mid-May the Los Angeles City Council approved motion 13-0192 which approves the city of Los Angeles’ initial foray into point-to-point car-sharing. To date, the city of Los Angeles has only seen fixed-location car-share, including the new Metro station Zipcars which must be brought back to their start location after use. Point-to-point car share allows users to make one-way trips and leave the car anywhere within defined service areas. Car2Go debuted Southern California point-to-point car-share in 2014, with 115 cars across multiple South Bay cities, but recently announced the program was being canceled.
Car-share has had a sputtering history in Los Angeles, but, with shifting demographics and officials, agencies, and private industry working together, it is likely to play a significant role in L.A.’s broadening transportation mix. And, if these new Metro locations are successful, there’s a lot of potential for growth with Metro’s 20,000+ parking spaces.