“We at Zipcar are sad that our decade-long partnership with WMATA (otherwise known as Metro) has come to an end”


We at Zipcar are sad that our decade-long partnership with WMATA (otherwise known as Metro) has come to an end. Our Zipcars based in Kiss and Ride lots will be leaving effective May 31, 2015. We don’t want this change to impact you, so we’re taking this opportunity to bring you lots of new locations right next door to our old homes – or even in your own neighborhood!

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see dozens of new locations sprouting up to ensure you can continue to zip when and where you need to go. You can always find our stations that are conveniently located next to or close to Metro stations by searching for either the station name or the line it’s on.

Thanks for your membership, and happy Zipping!

“Dear PoPville,

Wondering how DC residents feel? I’m pretty upset at the change although its good we do have neighborhood spots but zipcar @ metro really helps esp as you go out the city (MD/VA).
I had saw a sign at Brookland metro saying the new vendor for ‘car sharing’ will be enterprise…anyone used their services before? How does it compare to zip car in terms of perks (gas etc)”

25 Comment

  • Tangential, but… does Zipcar pay the city for the street parking spaces that were converted from metered spaces to reserved-for-Zipcar spaces?
    My vague recollection from several years ago is that Zipcar was either getting them for free or paying the city some ridiculously low price.

    • Seems like this is the kind of thing the city could negotiate with some of the newer buildings requesting zoning variances to avoid parking minimums: Require they provide some Zipcar spaces. The cost is incurred by the building, it decreases the possibility residents will have cars, and provides a benefit to neighbors too.

      • Actually, required car-sharing spaces is already a very common condition of zoning approval in DC. The requirement is 100% developer financed.

      • justinbc

        I’ve seen a few of the newer places that offer a free year membership to ZipCar and / or BikeShare. As for where they’re located, no clue, never used them.

    • Well, given that residents pay a ridiculously low price to park, that seems fair doesn’t it? I’d happily give up a few bucks of parking meter fees to have car share available (I say this as a non-member of zipcar).

      • It’s more than a few bucks, though. Theoretically it’s up to $2800/year, which I think is what Car2Go is paying the city for each “Zone 9” sticker that makes Cars2Go eligible to park in any of the eight zones or — more importantly for this argument — at a meter.

      • The problem with giving parking for free to ZipCar or others is that it ends up being a subsidy to the company not the users. I totally agree that, since car owners enjoy the benefit of free parking there should be some way to confer that benefit on non car owners too. But if the city just gives all the spots to ZipCar, they will still set consumer prices to maximize profit (which will be the same as if they had paid for the spots).
        The only two options I can think of would be some sort of quasi municipal car share (a la Capitol Bike Share) or offering spots for free in exchange for rate reductions (i.e. maybe zipcar is .50 less an hour where they are getting free parking).
        In the case of WMATA, frankly I would like to see carshare available but as a WMATA rider and taxpayer I prefer they maximize revenue in distributing spaces.

        • +1 to “The problem with giving parking for free to ZipCar or others is that it ends up being a subsidy to the company not the users.”

          • -1 to “But if the city just gives all the spots to ZipCar, they will still set consumer prices to maximize profit (which will be the same as if they had paid for the spots).” Unless ZipCar has a monopoly, this is not true. If the district provide spots to any carsharing company, they are subsidizing a key business cost that will help drive down the price of carsharing. Ideally, the district would drastically increase RPP in dense neighborhoods and provide free permits for carsharing services.

    • I know some DC residents that have sold their unused garage spaces to Zipcar and make income that way.

      • Yep, I’ve seen lots of off-street Zipcar parking spaces. The ones I’m thinking about are the on-street ones, though — I was in Adams Morgan over the weekend and saw at least one, maybe two.

    • The reserved spaces were auctioned several years ago. Zipcar only was able to buy a few, and moved most of their cars to off-street parking as a result.

  • I don’t know how they compare. However I do know that Enterprise will likely try to lure you in with their “$5” rentals or something of that nature. And they will not exist.

    • You’ve not used Enterprise, but you “know” that they’ll lure people in and then not have the promised promo?

      We’ve been Enterprise members since they started. They have had the $5 promo a few times. Whenever that promo runs, we haven’t had a problem finding a car at that rate.

      Overall, the Enterprise cars are a little run down. Not awful, but they seem like used cars. Generally, Zipcars have better upkeep. The Zipcar app is also much better than Enterprise’s.

      • That is not what I said. I have used enterprise. I have not used Zipcar – so I can’t compare. I had Enterprise for a year and only once did a $5 rate appear. My point is to not let that be the thing that sucks you in because, in my experience, it does not exist.

  • Enterprise is basically the same. A little bit cheaper and a little bit less polished.

  • I am glad to see the “patronage” system in which Zipcar flourished in DC is continuing to be reduced.

    It always galled me that Zipcar, a for profit company got completely free, high demand on street commercial district parking spots for the first 5 years they were in DC. Once people started complaining, they decided to charge them a pittance (i.e.$140/yr) for 24/7 parking, which Zipcar screamed bloody murder about, to finally putting out a full RFP for the spots, which they lost 95% of when other companies offered DC vastly more ($250/month).

    It appears WMATA is finally making Zipcar earn their spots, rather than simply giving them to them.

    Then under Director Gabe Klein, (who until 18 months prior had been a senior exec with Zipcar and still a majority shareholder in Zipcar,) DDOT single sourced Zipcar a multi-year contract worth millions to manage a couple thousand vehicles in the District Government vehicle fleet. That deal with the poster-child for “shady”, but it went through.

    I like Zipcar, I am a member, but as a DC taxpayer it was disgusting how many freebies and single sourcing we were giving them. Atleast DC now actually makes money from the spots, rather than heavily subsidizing a for profit business.

  • I’m a Zipcar member, but use them only down in Richmond – and have noticed that their gas cards no longer work there (and are not being fixed, despite repeated calls to customer service). Is this just a Richmond problem, or is service level declining in DC too?

  • I have hadEnterprise Carshare for a year now, and the cars I use are consistently $5.00 an hour, usually out of CoHi. Weekends, weekdays, early, late, doesn’t matter, $5.00.

    I don’t think I have a special promotion or anything to make the low price consistent, but it is a no-brainer when you compare Enterprise’s $5.00 to Zipcar’s $12.00. I’m letting my Zipcar membership lapse this year because of it.

  • Egad

    I’ve found Enterprise to be much cheaper and more cars are available when I need them. I haven’t used Zipcar for months now, always choosing Enterpise instead.

  • Enterprise doesn’t have the upscale cars, but frankly I’ve had no more problems with car condition or service compared with Zipcar.

  • Gave it up over a year ago for car2go, have never regretted it. The fact that Zipcar still hasn’t implemented point to point driving is mind boggling

  • We’re excited to see so much conversation around car sharing in the greater Washington, DC area! Zipcar does pay the District $2,890 per year for each on-street space that we occupy. This rate is the same as what car2go pays for their vehicles to have their special permits that allow them to park in any curbside space. For several years, Zipcar has paid rates established by the District Department of Transportation.

    We have a little more than 5% of our fleet based in on-street spaces, as we try to be as convenient as possible to where our Zipsters work and live. It’s important to us that we balance the needs of our membership with the neighborhoods in which we serve, so we always try to work with the community when identifying and placing our vehicles.

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