Beginning today, 25 Zipcars are available by the hour or by the day for residents, students, businesses and visitors in the city of Houston. Zipcar’s revolutionary “wheels when you want them” service offers a wide variety of vehicles, from MINI Coopers to pickup trucks, and includes gas, a reserved parking spot, insurance, and 180 miles per day, making it a great option for those looking for convenient and cost-effective transportation. The launch, which makes Houston the company’s 27th major metropolitan area, will be supported by a retail office where members can interact with a local team.
Zipcars are parked in prime locations throughout Houston including the Downtown area, Midtown, and Greenway Plaza/Upper Kirby. Zipcar expects to expand the service to additional neighborhoods in the near future. The vehicles are parked in designated parking spots and can be reserved in seconds on Zipcar’s mobile app, online or over the phone.
“As the nation’s second fastest growing city, and one of most livable, Houston is a perfect fit for Zipcar,” said Kaye Ceille, president of Zipcar. “For car owners who are looking to save money by switching to car sharing and other forms of transportation, or for people who don’t own a car but need one occasionally, Zipcar’s on-demand pay-as-you-go model and variety of vehicles offer the benefits of car ownership without the cost and hassle.”
Zipcar’s consumer launch builds on its successful program with the city of Houston FleetShare program in which Zipcar technology is embedded in city-owned vehicles, increasing efficiency, accountability and lower overall fleet costs. Zipcar has also offered service to Rice University students on campus since 2009. In addition, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University will be adding Zipcars on and near campus to further provide alternative transportation options to students, faculty and staff. These programs are expected to launch in Fall 2014.
“I want to welcome Zipcar to all of Houston,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “This is another major step forward in Houston’s ongoing effort to change the way we live and get around the City. Sustainable transportation options offer convenience, are less of a burden on our pocketbooks and also have a big impact on our environment.”
Zipcar’s Houston fleet offers a wide variety of vehicles for local members that need an alternative to getting around or for Zipcar members visiting the city. Family trips to The Museum District or The Space Center are easier in the Toyota Prius named “Herman” with room for five. Nissan Frontier “Hamptons” is a great option to get out of the city and visit the many beaches of Galveston. Take Volkswagen Jetta “Shelley” to swing by Austin for the weekend or Hill Country where you can visit some of Texas’ top wineries. MINI Cooper “Hattie Mae” allows members to catch a concert at a fun night out at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park.
Employees of local businesses in Houston can benefit from Zipcar’s presence through the Zipcar for Business program that offers discounted driving rates Monday through Friday. This program helps businesses save money, meet environmental sustainability goals and reduce parking requirements by providing their employees with access to Zipcars for business needs and other uses.
“Houston First Corporation looks forward to working with Zipcar on the potential to offer their service in our facilities,” said Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO of Houston First Corporation, which owns Hilton Americas-Houston and manages the George R. Brown Convention Center, Wortham Center, Jones Hall, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Theater District Parking and other facilities for the City of Houston. “Car sharing is an innovative way to help people get around town without increasing traffic.”