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.
Oct 8th, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
Florida developer willing to undertake a project that no local developers will. The result will be 118 market-rate apartments, with no city financing.
Oct 7th, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
Proposed high-rise would add up to 275 "ultra luxury" apartments to downtown Milwaukee -- with no public financing.
Oct 6th, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
118-year-old building would be converted to 74 apartments at prominent downtown corner.
Sep 24th, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
It's a complete failure of a park, here is how to fix it.
Sep 23rd, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
Two developers partner up for a new building that is going to have a very odd shape.
Sep 21st, 2014 by Jeramey Jannene
New skyscraper would contain up to 275 apartments in downtown Milwaukee.