I've just registered with Zipcar, the $8/hour car sharing service.
We only have one car because we live near enough to campus to walk to work. But as the kids get older there are more and more occasions where they need to be schlepped in two different directions at the same time. So I think the idea of a car sharing service is wonderful and I'm delighted that it's finally come to Miami.
Except that it sort of hasn't.
In towns where Zipcar is really present, they have multiple locations — sometimes a plethora of locations. If your close location is out of cars, you go a bit further.
Will a car be available when I want one?
It's natural for new members to worry that cars won't be available when they want them. About half of all reservations are made the same day. We monitor utilization very closely, adding more cars as usage rises, keeping availability high. But the beauty of the system is that Zipcar members are entitled to use any of the cars in our fleet. So even if the Zipcar right around the corner isn't available, you'll still be able reserve one located only a few blocks away.
But in Miami, as far as I can tell, at present there's only one location. Yes, it's on the campus, and yes, it's near my house, maybe 10-15 minutes walk and almost as long to drive there, as the relevant entrance is on the far side of the campus. But still.
As far as I can tell from the occasional online spot check, they have a grand total of … two cars. So far, they do seem to be available most of the time. But if neither of those two cars is available…I think the next closest car is in Gainesville! Where, incidentally, they have a lot more locations.
We'll just have to see how it goes.