Zipcar

Transportation topics in KC
User avatar
staubio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 6953
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:17 am
Location: River Market
Contact:

Zipcar

Postby staubio » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:07 pm

I know we've talked about car share concepts in the past but I wanted to start a thread dedicated to the idea.

I've had a car since I've lived in KC, but I live and work downtown and now use my car every couple of weeks or so. When I can, I let friends borrow it to make better use of it, but mostly it sits there. It is 18 years old, though, and not a great candidate for sharing anymore. I don't want to leave a friend feeling guilty for being the one that finally burns out the long-failing clutch or something.

I would love to have an option like ZipCar in KC, but cries for their entry into our market have been met with no response. Faced with either making expensive repairs to my old car or parting ways with it, I'd love to explore options for a do-it-ourselves car share.

I'm sure things like insurance, titling, etc, could be tricky, but you'd think an LLC could be formed and the vehicle would be owned there-by. A reasonably priced newer small car could be purchased and shared and the relative cost for each user would be minimal. For now, I think only the loop and River Market make sense for this. I have a dedicated parking spot I could give to the effort in the north River Market.

With only one car, scheduling would be tricky. Maybe this isn't practical. I thought I'd ask though.

So:

  • Is it possible, legally speaking?
  • Is there enough interest?

User avatar
KCPowercat
Power & Light
Power & Light
Posts: 27639
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

Re: Private Car Share

Postby KCPowercat » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:32 pm

I think the insurance company would be the biggest hurdle.
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

Tweeting live from Big 12 tournament @downtownkc

User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2677
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Private Car Share

Postby smh » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:56 pm

Would the car only be allowed for use within the loop/market area, or do you mean only residents of the area would be allowed to be members, at least initially?
"It's only when you leave Kansas City do you realize truly how great a city it is. ... If you have to go away, go away for a while. You'll be back. And when you come back, bring your ideas and willingness to make Kansas City the best."- Sly James

User avatar
staubio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 6953
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:17 am
Location: River Market
Contact:

Re: Private Car Share

Postby staubio » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:32 pm

smh wrote:Would the car only be allowed for use within the loop/market area, or do you mean only residents of the area would be allowed to be members, at least initially?


No, you could do whatever you wanted with it. I just mean that they'd be stored in the loop and River Market for pick-up.

User avatar
ComandanteCero
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6222
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:40 am
Location: OP

Re: Private Car Share

Postby ComandanteCero » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:20 pm

It's an interesting idea, i think the first step is figuring out A) who this would be targeted to and B) what is their interest level?  If you're particularly bullish on the idea, you could probably get enough folks to pitch in on a car and just use that to gauge interest.  Other than the car, insurance, legal fees, etc., setting up the website/ordering forms/etc.etc some really really basic marketing.  I can't imagine it costing that much (50, maybe 60 grand? assuming no one is being paid, and you're doing the bulk of the work?  :lol:).  

Of course, if you develop a proper market analysis, and do the research before hand, and it turns out the numbers are favorable there would be more of a chance of attracting investors and the kind of financing that would allow for a larger start up fleet (i.e 5-12 cars?).

I was just reading through this article about zipcar http://www.inc.com/magazine/20080301/ho ... nyway.html
and the CEO mentioned that from experience and running numbers they found that there needed to be about 40 members per car to make things profitable.  (that article is actually pretty interesting in terms of the strategies they undertook to make the company more efficient, things like dividing cities into zones and marketing neighborhood by neighborhood, etc. etc.).

I think starting with one car would be overly cautious (and could be detrimental if you get some serious demand and the car is immediately booked and you start pissing people off and giving them a bad impression of the service).  Of course, if you start it as a really word of mouth kind of thing, almost informal, then maybe one car would be alright.  It could start off by invitation only, until you reached a certain number.  It would be like those test runs restaurants have.  But even then, I would say 3 cars would be better.
KC Region is all part of the same animal regardless of state and county lines.
Think on the Regional scale.

User avatar
bbqboy
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2920
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:25 am

Re: Private Car Share

Postby bbqboy » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:37 pm


User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2677
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Private Car Share

Postby smh » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:33 pm

Hertz is getting into this business as well:

https://www.connectbyhertz.com/select.aspx

I know they are starting up at Mizzou this fall.

I think it is interesting that they've made a go of it by putting cars in university towns where there are a lot of kids who maybe don't have cars. Should be interesting.

I think (having not read the website, and just remembering from an article I read) that they basically charge a yearly membership fee and then a per use charge that is pretty small.

This is exciting! You'd think something like this could become a big deal in landlocked, car-loving KC. I'd love to not own a car, but I'm like you, I just can't seem to get rid of the thing. A big thing for me is that my family isn't in KC. It is kind of hard to get to Springfield without a car. But seems a shame to own a car that you only drive a few miles here and there.
"It's only when you leave Kansas City do you realize truly how great a city it is. ... If you have to go away, go away for a while. You'll be back. And when you come back, bring your ideas and willingness to make Kansas City the best."- Sly James

carfreekc
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:59 pm
Location: walking around

Re: Private Car Share

Postby carfreekc » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:59 am

Didn't realize Hertz was starting their service at Mizzou. That's good news.

Enterprise also has a carsharing program (WeCar) in St. Louis, and I think they recently started it in Nashville. It would be nice if we could convince either them or Hertz to start here if ZipCar won't.

California is working on legislation to allow individuals to share their cars without voiding their insurance: http://sf.streetsblog.org/2010/07/01/personal-car-share-insurance-bill-passes-key-committee-test/

And I haven't read a lot about this angle yet, but check out this article that mentions peer-to-peer carsharing options like Divvycar and RelayRides:
http://shareable.net/blog/would-you-share-your-car-with-a-stranger

If we had carsharing, I might not have bought a car four months ago after going without for 12 years... (so need to change my user name!)

mudjack
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:07 am

Re: Private Car Share

Postby mudjack » Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:20 am

I went a couple of years without a car and when I bought one again, I paid a premium for insurance because I was previously uninsured. I had figured that since I didn't have a car, I didn't need insurance, but the insurance company disagreed.

Did you keep insurance during your carless years?

carfreekc
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:59 pm
Location: walking around

Re: Private Car Share

Postby carfreekc » Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:15 pm

mudjack wrote:I went a couple of years without a car and when I bought one again, I paid a premium for insurance because I was previously uninsured. I had figured that since I didn't have a car, I didn't need insurance, but the insurance company disagreed.

Did you keep insurance during your carless years?


Nope. Just made sure I got the insurance when I would rent a car every so often. I was worried about being scalped on insurance my first six months when I got a car again b/c of that, but actually, it's not as bad as I feared. I called a few places for quotes and got widely varying amounts, so depends who you go with, I guess. AAA was the most expensive by a lot. Progressive was a good quote, and I ended up going with State Farm. Hopefully it will go down after the first 6 mos.

User avatar
dangerboy
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 9029
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:28 am
Location: West 39th St. - KCMO

Re: Private Car Share

Postby dangerboy » Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:11 pm

staubio wrote:I would love to have an option like ZipCar in KC, but cries for their entry into our market have been met with no response.


Has there ever been an organized appeal, or just individual requests?  Perhaps if groups like Downtown/Midtown neighborhood associations, the Downtown Council, the ATA, and the Sierra Club banded together for a united request it would get more attention.

carfreekc
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:59 pm
Location: walking around

Re: Private Car Share

Postby carfreekc » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:50 pm

Or maybe the groups could work together on their own feasibility study - then would have the data to either entice ZipCar/Hertz/Enterprise or start the city's own. Minneapolis started its own, and now has both HourCar and ZipCar (which came after the nonprofit HourCar was started).

http://www.hourcar.org/

User avatar
dangerboy
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 9029
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:28 am
Location: West 39th St. - KCMO

Re: Private Car Share

Postby dangerboy » Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:56 pm

Chicago also has a local non-profit, iGo Car Share, started by the Center for Neighborhood Technology.  Who would be a good local catalyst for a start-up car share?

User avatar
ComandanteCero
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6222
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:40 am
Location: OP

Re: Private Car Share

Postby ComandanteCero » Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:15 pm

carfreekc wrote:Or maybe the groups could work together on their own feasibility study - then would have the data to either entice ZipCar/Hertz/Enterprise or start the city's own. Minneapolis started its own, and now has both HourCar and ZipCar (which came after the nonprofit HourCar was started).

http://www.hourcar.org/

dangerboy wrote:Chicago also has a local non-profit, iGo Car Share, started by the Center for Neighborhood Technology.  Who would be a good local catalyst for a start-up car share?


pretty interesting!  Possible partners:

MARC
Metropolitan Energy Center
KC Region is all part of the same animal regardless of state and county lines.
Think on the Regional scale.

User avatar
Critical_Mass
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Crossroads

Re: Private Car Share

Postby Critical_Mass » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:03 pm

i think it would be more appealing if the vehicle(s) was a pick-up truck.  That would be very handy for small moves...things like running out to check out and possibly take home that sofa you spottted on craigslist.  You might get non-truck car owners to sign up with that service

carfreekc
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:59 pm
Location: walking around

Re: Private Car Share

Postby carfreekc » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:33 pm

Yeah, the organizations that provide the service tend to offer different types of vehicles for that very reason. So if you need to haul a sofa and just need a vehicle for an hour to do that, you can. And if the next time you need a car, you're driving to Springfield, you can rent a Prius to get decent mpg. Etc.

I guess we're digressing from the idea of a private car share here. Sorry, Staubio! Check out Divvy Car for one way to do that. http://blog.divvy.com/2009/08/06/divvy-car-get-moving/

User avatar
dangerboy
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 9029
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:28 am
Location: West 39th St. - KCMO

Re: Private Car Share

Postby dangerboy » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:54 am

Critical_Mass wrote:i think it would be more appealing if the vehicle(s) was a pick-up truck. 


Most services do offer a mix of cars, trucks, vans, SUVS, etc.

SamPierron
Strip mall
Strip mall
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 11:24 pm

Re: Private Car Share

Postby SamPierron » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:14 pm

staubio, I'm in if I wind up moving to RM. I'll need a car two or three days/wk max.

User avatar
trailerkid
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 11221
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:49 pm
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Re: Private Car Share

Postby trailerkid » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:26 pm

Zipcar does partnerships with universities in a ton of cities. Getting UMKC to partner with them would probably be the most feasible way of bringing them to KC. I would assume if a bill was introduced to Student Senate by a student it wouldn't take much to get it going.

mean
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10611
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:00 am
Location: Historic Northeast

Re: Private Car Share

Postby mean » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:06 pm

Unfortunately, the vast majority of UMKC students have historically driven to school. Not sure that's the best testbed.
"It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic." -- Ben Franklin


Return to “Kansas City Transportation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests