Category Archives: car sharing

How Can You Get Around Without A Credit Card?

Divvy Bikes in Chicago.

Divvy Bikes in Chicago.

By Micheline Maynard

Unless they were lucky enough to get a gift certificate, pretty much everybody who has joined Citi Bike, ZipCar or Uber has something in common: a credit card.

But what if you want to get around, and you don’t have a credit card?

That’s a topic of active discussion in Chicago, where one in nine residents don’t have bank accounts, according to research reported this week by Streetsblog Chicago.

According to researcher Michael Carney at the University of Illinois at Chicago‚Äôs College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, that translates to at least 135,000 people and perhaps more than twice as many people. In some parts of Chicago, one-third of area residents do not have bank accounts, but get by relying on cash or debit-style cards that aren’t linked to bank accounts.

One of the biggest reasons bike share and other transportation programs ask for credit cards is to offset the risk of damage to bikes or vehicles, or even the theft of the equipment. A rider, driver or consumer without a credit card can’t be billed if the information isn’t available.

The Chicago Department of Transportation, which runs Divvy Bikes, the city’s bike sharing system, is determined to get “unbanked” Chicagoans on bikes. It’s been looking at ways that it can make Divvy accessible to more people. Continue reading

Comments Off on How Can You Get Around Without A Credit Card?

Filed under bike sharing, car sharing, ride sharing

10 Big Transportation Ideas: Why Own When You Can Rent?

In 2008, Zipcar had 200,000 members. This year, it has more than four times that many as car sharing catches on.

In 2008, Zipcar had 200,000 members. This year, it has more than four times that many as car sharing catches on.

By Micheline Maynard

Back in 2009, just before General Motors filed for bankruptcy, I wrote a story for The New York Times called, “Industry Fears Americans May Quit New Car Habit.”

This was a very real concern for the Obama administration, which was in the midst of investing $82 billion in reviving two car companies and restructuring other parts of the auto industry.

The story included an interview with Scott Griffith, the CEO of a fledgling company called Zipcar, which rented cars to customers by the hour. In 2008, Zipcar had signed up 200,000 members. In 2009, the company was aiming for 300,000.

Flash forward to 2013. Zipcar was sold this spring to the Avis Budget Group for $500 million. Zipcar now has 810,000 members. And the opportunities for expanding its network seem boundless.

But Zipcar is far from the only car sharing company out there. As you can see from our car resources page, there are all manner of places, both for-profit and non-profit, allowing people to use a car for short periods of time. Continue reading

Comments Off on 10 Big Transportation Ideas: Why Own When You Can Rent?

Filed under car sharing, Curbing Cars, Driving