Zipcars for the Masses
By-the-hour car rental firm unveils huge expansion, adding 29 vehicles to Milwaukee with possibly more to come.
Just a year ago, Zipcar’s only presence in Milwaukee was through university-sponsored vehicles located on campus. In May of this year the car-sharing company added its first non-sponsored vehicles near the intersection of N. Farwell Ave and E. North Ave in a city-owned parking lot. Then earlier this week, my colleague Dave Reid noticed that a few more spots were installed on Clybourn and Michigan.
Dave, like the Titantic, had only seen the tip of the iceberg. The by-the-hour car sharing firm has begun deploying 29 new vehicles to locations across Downtown. The Milwaukee fleet will grow to 40 vehicles, with a source indicating that a lot more cars are on their way long-term.
The large deployment of vehicles is a positive reflection on the growth of Milwaukee’s urban core. Car-free living is a legitimate option for a growing swath of the city, and services like Zipcar (plus MCTS and taxicabs) fill in the gaps for those that desire the occasional trip to Target, Costco, or their far-flung suburban relatives. The fact that Milwaukee is a terrible town for taxis and has a declining mass transit system also makes this a good market for these cars. Zipcar has been repeatedly coy about their usage rates, but suffice it to say they wouldn’t be making this investment (including renting parking spaces) if they didn’t believe the vehicles would be heavily used by Milwaukeeans.
As a car-free, former Zipcar member who cancelled his service because of the lack of cars and their availability (those darn college kids were always using them) as well as a low personal need, this expansion is most welcome. Their investment will net them at least one new subscriber.
Feb 10th, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
After years of debate, streetcar will finally move forward. Final engineering will begin immediately, and construction by the end of the year.
Jan 22nd, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
Eleven out of 15 aldermanic districts, and 76 percent of all respondents support the proposed streetcar starter system.
Jan 21st, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
Large majority votes to approve streetcar, but parliamentary maneuver puts issue on hold until February 10th meeting.
Jan 20th, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
Aldermen Witkowski and Perez now favor it, and touted plan to extend the line into their south-side districts.
Jan 16th, 2015 by Jeramey Jannene
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Dec 16th, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
Minority of aldermen were able to use city charter provision to delay project for one month, but a majority seems poised to approve it.