New Car Sharing Program Zips into Memphis

New Car Sharing Program Zips into Memphis

Memphis could be getting hip with a car sharing program. City leaders want to bring Zip Cars to downtown. They say it will ease traffic congestion, save the environment and help you save money.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis could be getting hip with a car sharing program. City leaders want to bring Zip Cars to downtown. They say it will ease traffic congestion, save the environment and help you save money.

Rhodes College already used Zip Cars and it's a huge success. The cost to rent one includes gas and insurance. On top of that, people save money by not paying a car note and monthly parking garage fees.

They call it "Zip" Car for a reason.

"The Zip Car was cheap, reliable, convenient," said Patric Ferguson, a student at Rhodes College.

It costs Ferguson $15 to rent it for a few hours and $30 a year for a membership fee. A gas card is included, and no more asking mom and dad for their car.

"I know a couple of people who use it and they love them too, they go to the grocery store or get something to eat late at night, they're very convenient for everyone on campus," he said.

But will it work for downtown Memphis? Downtown Memphis Commission President Paul Morris says there is a demand for car sharing programs.

"Car sharing works better with more the density you have and in Memphis and in this region the most densely populated area is in downtown."

Morris says more than 50,000 people work downtown, and more than 20,000 live there. The car sharing program is a huge hit at Rhodes College.

"We've seen our usage increase steadily since we've brought the program in since the fall of 2010, so if we continue to see the increase in usage we'll consider bringing additional cars," said Tracey Adkisson with Rhodes College.

If all goes as planned, downtowners can look for a Zip Car near them by the end of the year.

Morris says the city is in the early stages of getting the car sharing program in Memphis, and it's not expected to cost taxpayers a dime. The city will test 4 cars to see if people will use them.

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