Knoxville approves ZipCar service and parking spaces

11:51 PM, Jan 8, 2013   |    comments
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  • Courtesy: ZipCar, Inc.
  • Courtesy: ZipCar, Inc.

Drivers will soon have a new way to get around Knoxville with a new car-sharing service. Tuesday night, Knoxville City Council approved a resolution that will allow the city to enter an agreement with ZipCar, Inc. The company works through memberships.

"These are basically short term rentals," explains Jake Tisinger, of the Knoxville Sustainability Office. "People will go to the parking spots after they've gotten their membership, swipe the card in front of the windshield, and have access to the car for short term trips."

A ZipCar spokesperson lists cost savings, convenience, and freedom for those without cars among the benefits this program offers.

The city council also approved an ordinance Tuesday evening that creates special parking spaces just for ZipCars. For the launch of the program in Knoxville, that will include two spaces: on campus near the intersection of 20th street and Andy Holt Avenue, and on the Gay Street viaduct.

Members can pay by the hour or by the day, and reserve their time online.

"Whenever you need the car, you sign up and make sure your block is free and go and pick up the car," said Tisinger.

ZipCar and city officials will discuss what types of cars to rent, and how soon those will be on campus. Tisinger expects drivers to see the vehicles sometime this spring.

ZipCar already operates in several large cities around the world. In Tennessee, the program is currently offered at Rhodes College in Memphis and Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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