Zip Cars Now Available in Downtown Memphis

Zip Cars Now Available in Downtown Memphis

Downtown Memphis has a little more zip. Four 'Zip Cars' are parked on city streets, ready to be rented. The company officially started operations in Memphis Thursday.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Downtown Memphis has a little more zip. Four 'Zipcars' are parked on city streets, ready to be rented. The company officially started operations in Memphis Thursday.

The cars have names. Not Ford or Toyota names; one car is named "Woodrow"; another car, "Beverly". They are Zipcars available for rent for $7.50 an hour.

"It is a benefit to our citizens. It makes it easier for our citizens to get around the city," stated Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery. "You can take the trolley over to Gayoso and pick up one of these cars, or you can go to Huling, also right off the mall, and pick up one of these cars."

The Zipcars aren't for everybody. But for folks who use public transportation and need to do grocery shopping, or people who need a car to make a business meeting, they're the ticket.

No doubt about it, says downtown resident Robert Blake. "I think it's a good idea," he says, "I would [use it] and it's affordable and so, if I needed it I would use it, yes."

To get hip to the zip you register online at zipcar.com/memphis. In a couple of days Zipcar sends you a card, and it's basically your ticket to ride. The card is needed for everything.

A reader on the car windshield scans your membership card, and the satellite opens the door for you. The keys are on a tether line inside the car.

Now I know what you're thinking. This is Memphis. Somebody will probably just grab one of these Zipcars and zip across the river heading toward Oblivion, Arkansas. But Zipcar stays in business by keeping one step ahead of the thieves.

"There's been every attempt to try and foil the system and they found ways to beat it all with technology," said Paul Morris with the Downtown Memphis Commission. "They wouldn't tell us what those technological security measures are, but they've shared with us that their business model wouldn't work if people could steal their cars."

If things work and if business is good, more cars will be coming. If not, Zipcars will end up with a fading view of Memphis in their rear view mirrors.

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