Zipcar Introduces New Flexibility Features, Including One-Way Trips
At a downtown Los Angeles press event today, Zipcar representatives announced new car-share “flexibility” features. The new features, described below, are currently available uniquely in the Southern California market, and will be rolled out to other North American cities throughout 2016.
In the past, Zipcar car-share required users to always return cars to the parking space where they were checked out. A Zipcar checked out in Koreatown needed to come back to Koreatown at the end of the trip.
The traditional round-trip option remains available, but Zipcar has now added one-way trips. These work a little like smart-dock bike-share systems, in that users can check out a Zipcar from one location, then return it to a different Zipcar location, but still only in designated Zipcar parking spaces. For example, a Zipcar checked out in Koreatown could be turned in at LAX, or a rail rider might take a Zipcar back from a trip that runs later than Metro rail operates. For one-way trips, users still make a reservation, including reserving a designated Zipcar parking space for the end of the trip.
Additional flexibility features allow users to change destinations mid-trip, and to extend reservations indefinitely mid-trip.
The new features were tested in Boston, and have been piloted at L.A. college campus locations over the past couple of months, before being made available throughout the greater Los Angeles area today.
According to Zipcar’s press materials there are more than 500 Zipcars available in more than 175 locations in the greater Los Angeles area, including West Hollywood, Hollywood, UCLA, USC, Santa Monica, and LAX. In mid-2015, Zipcar and Metro announced a partnership that places Zipcars at selected Metro rail stations. Also per Zipcar: “Zipcar’s new flexible offering will consist solely of select Honda vehicles, including the Honda Fit, the fuel-efficient, versatile and fun subcompact that can fit up to five people and their gear.”
How about you, readers? Do you use Zipcar? Can you see yourself taking advantage of the new flexibility? Have you tried these new features? If so, what did you think?