Zipcar launches in Iowa City - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Zipcar launches in Iowa City

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UI sophomore Catie Hoover chose not to bring her car on campus for one reason.

"It's not worth parking.  I'd rather just walk," she said.

Even so, Hoover says there are times when it would be nice to have her own set of wheels.

"That would really be kind of helpful for doctor appointments and stuff like that and just to get off of campus because last year I felt kind of trapped," she said.

The Iowa City community is one that depends heavily on public transportation, bikes, and mo-peds to get around.

A  new business, called Zipcar, which launched in Iowa City on Wednesday, looks to fill a gap where these modes of transportation are ineffective.

"Zipcar helps provide you that car for the few times when you actually need to leave the city," said Bill Connolly, a Zipcar representative.

The service lets Zipcar members reserve cars at low rates for hours at a time.

It's called car-sharing, and the process is convenient and all self-service.

"You pick the car you want, for the time you want, and when the time comes, you go right to the car," Connolly said.

Officials say the service would be most valuable when used by university staff, which could help free up parking spaces.

"The greatest number of spaces on campus are devoted to employee parking. That's the one we want to affect the most," said Dave Ricketts, the UI director of parking and transportation.

"It really does help support a walk able, bikeable community.  It helps support public transit," said Liz Christiansen, director of the UI office of sustainability. 

Reserved spots for Zipcars can be found throughout the city meaning students like Hoover may never have to worry about getting around town again.

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