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Q and A with Anthony Marinos of Zipcar

Baltimore Zip Car Locations (click to enlarge)

Here’s a quick interview with Anthony Marinos, a Marketing Manager at Zipcar.

How does Zipcar compare to renting through a traditional car rental service?

We really like to think of Zipcar as a replacement for a personally owned car, rather than a replacement for a rental car. The fact that our cars are in the neighborhood, available by the hour with gas, insurance and parking included makes Zipcar a convenient and cost effective alternative to owning a car, especially if you only need one a few hours a week.

How many subscribers do you have so far in Baltimore? What’s your target enrollment within the next year?

We’re not at liberty to disclose the total number of members in the Baltimore area, but we have strong programs already in place at Johns Hopkins, Towson and Goucher. We will work hard to increase awareness of Zipcar among as many people as we can in the city in the coming weeks and months to drive more memberships and use.

Say I want to take a road trip to North Carolina – is this possible using Zipcar?

Our focus is on people who need a car for a few hours at a time. If you wanted to take a week long trip out of state, you’d probably want to rent a car. But if you need a car for a few hours – whether it’s for a trip to Whole Foods or Ikea, Zipcar is perfect.  We do allow members to reserve a car for up to four days at a time, however.

 Are there any plans to expand service to neighborhoods like Canton, Patterson Park, or Federal Hill?

We hope to be able to serve a wide variety of communities and neighborhoods in the city. We’re starting with the locations we announced this week, and will expand to others based on demand and interest from members and non-members alike. Our partnership with the city will be very helpful to helping source parking spots in these additional neighborhoods

Zipcar is Here!

Zipcar Baltimore is here!

Baltimore Sun Zipcar Story

Zipcar is offering discounts to people who sign up within the next month. I actually didn’t know about this rollout before I sold my car, but this is an added incentive to keep doing what I’m doing. Stay tuned for a Q and A post with Anthony Marinos, a Marketing Manager at Zipcar.

MTA, Zip Car, and Docks

On Sunday I took the light rail to Hunt Valley to pick up a few things. It was the first time I took the light rail beyond Mt. Royal station. Besides the obvious problems on Howard St. which have been discussed ad nauseum (there was also a multi-agency strategic plan done for the corridor last year), a few small things became apparent.

The location of the ticket machines on Redwood Ave, for instance. Redwood is probably the nicest east/west street in the westside. There’s also a walkway through the 22 S. Howard St. building connecting the light rail station to Redwood St. This could of been a good visual connection between Redwood and the light rail station. Unfortunately, an army of ticket booths gets in the way.

Rearranging the machines parallel to Redwood (and underneath the building’s roof) would have probably required a private property right of entry agreement. I think it still would be a worthwhile thing for MTA to pursue. Improving the visual connections between the transit system and downtown streets is a low-cost, high-impact way to make the light rail system seem like it’s integrated into the city and not just an after-thought. MTA is making headway on this issue with the relocation of the Lexington St. Market light rail station one block north – thereby reducing the distance between the Metro and light rail stops to one block.

While downtown, I also saw these:

Zipcar will be expanding downtown. Since quoting schedules usually gets me in trouble, I’ll wait for the Parking Authority to make the official announcement about when the rollout will begin. I’ve been concerned about grocery shopping without having a car, so this will definitely help.

And finally, another interesting bike ride – Clinton St. along the docks. Seeing these ships and old warehouse buildings up close reminds you that most big east coast and midwestern cities were built on manufacturing. The families, houses and neighborhoods came with the jobs, and these jobs created a middle class which was virtually non-existent in the 1800s. From north to south, Clinton St. is a microcosm of the city’s economic transition over 100 years.

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