Tag Archives: car sharing

From Austin, Some Ideas For Anne On Transportation Choices

By Micheline Maynard

Andrew Hartford wrote for us recently about the ways he gets around Austin without a car. We asked him to provide our reader Anne in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with ideas for deciding whether to keep her 1998 Honda Civic, or go car free.

Hi Anne,

I have been in your situation before.  I’ve had car troubles in the past, and wondered if it was really even worth owning one (the cost and stress of maintaining it) considering I had other options of getting around.  Ultimately, I realized that not owning a car doesn’t mean you have to cut cars out of your life completely.

As much as I am an advocate for alternative forms of transportation (biking, walking, and mass transit), I understand that there are situations in which a car might be needed (much of the U.S. is still very car-dependent). Continue reading

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Filed under advice, bicycling, car 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

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Filed under car sharing, Curbing Cars, Driving

Welcome To Curbing Cars!

Curbing Cars LogoBy Micheline Maynard

For more than a century, automobiles have been at the center of American life. They provided mobility, freedom, pizzazz and of course, millions of jobs. Since the Great Recession, however, people have begun to rethink the ways they get around.

Some are simply driving less, or switching from big vehicles to smaller ones. Others are downsizing their family fleets, either because their kids have moved out, or they can’t afford as many vehicles.  People are trying out bike sharing programs, like the ones in New York, Chicago and very soon, San Francisco. Car sharing systems and ride sharing systems are growing in popularity.

Nobody is quite sure yet whether this is a fad or a significant social change. But Curbing Cars is making it our mission to find out.

Welcome to our project. We’d like to know whether you’re changing the way you get around, or just wonder what it means for the auto industry. Come back any time to share your ideas.

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