You don’t have to be a UC student or faculty member to take a spin in one of the region’s first
, convenient alternatives to owning a car in an urban setting. Now, in addition to about 300,000 people in the city limits of Cincinnati, add four ZipCars. Their names are Footsies, Iyana, Felicia and Moto.
Pull up the map on ZipCar’s website
, and you’ll see the East coat is full of the easy in-city rentals. They operate out of universities and cities. Even Indiana has ZipCars at four different universities. Ohio, on the other hand, has only had them available in Cleveland. Until now.
The four new cars sit in two separate places on UC’s Clifton campus. But don’t let the university location fool you. ZipCars are available for public rental and while UC students and faculty get discounted prices, the cost is still reasonable for the general public.
Once you sign up for and pay the annual fee, which differs based on the plans, you receive a ZipCard. With the card in hand, you can reserve a car for a couple of hours or the whole day. Walk up to the car, swipe your ZipCard past the windshield, and a new mode of transportation is open to you.
With its proximity to downtown, ZipCar expects to draw users beyond the university. According to ZipCar sales operation managers Bill Connolly, many users in other cities are reporters.
As a reporter without a car, I make my way around town via public transit and a bicycle. Frequently, this means I have to pass up opportunities to do in-person interviews because I can’t make it to locations outside of the city. I jumped on the opportunity to use ZipCar and rent a car for around $7 an hour, including gas and insurance.
The car sharing program can replace a seldom used car, or even owning a car altogether. The benefits are enticing. Hop on a bus to UC, swipe your ZipCard and don’t ever worry about taking your car to get the oil changed or paying $400 for new tires.
By Evan Wallis