29 August 2010

A Car When You Need It

Like my predecessor, I'm a Zipster (a.k.a. Zipcar member). I always intended to join a carshare service when I went car-free, but honestly it hasn't been necessary nearly as often as I expected it to. This is primarily due to the limits of the service, though: I've rented a UHaul for errands as often as I've rented a Zipcar, because there are no trucks available through Zipcar in my area! This means that furniture-related errands tend to be done with a UHaul.

In addition to the non-availability of trucks, I'm also a bit bothered by lack of distributed pickup locations. In Los Angeles, you can only pick up Zipcars at either USC or UCLA (or within a couple of blocks of those campuses), which makes me resist using the service for as long as possible. Nevertheless, I have used the service twice and have been pleased with the results both times. So, good when I use it, but I would use it more if it were better (are you reading this, Zipcar??)

Anyway, I wanted to share with you how I make it work: I have to ride my bike up to UCLA, then stuff it in the back of the car and drive it away. I guess I could also park the bike nearby... but I would spend the entire day worried about whether or not it would be there when I got back. So behold, Ruby getting a ride in a Honda Insight:
For the rest of you who are car-free, how often do you find yourself borrowing or renting a car/truck?


Corey Baines said...

I tried to be carless. Work commute is from Franklin Village to the border of Beverly/ Century City. I lasted a month on the single speed before I said Uncle. But that month taught me a lot about how to ride a bike, mass riding, and how afraid motorists are of hitting a bicyclist.

Ashley from Zipcar said...

Just wanted to make sure you saw that Zipcar just expanded in LA. Here's the article at The Source: http://thesource.metro.net/2010/12/15/zipcar-coming-to-hollywood-and-western-red-line-station/

Ivo Beutler said...

That's cool, Ashley! I hope that those who are living in LA without a car (LILAWAC, as the blog owners call 'em) will have an awesome time with you guys around.

Elisabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judi said...

I do not own a car. I ride my bicycle as much as possible. But occasionally I rent from Enterprise because they will pick me up at my house. I try to reserve in advance and try to get the 9.99/day weekend specials. I wait and run all my errands that need a car then. I rent a car about one weekend month or less.

Via Los Angeles said...

Your blog is really interesting. What a great little guide. I have a website called Via Los Angeles, it's "Your Little Black Book to the City of Angels." I would love to do a piece for tourists on how to get around LA without a car. Hope you'll have a read and contact me if you're interested!