Car sharing network Zipcar Inc. is expanding its Puget Sound network, already 300 cars strong in King County, to Tacoma beginning this week.
The company already has a small presence in the South Sound with cars at three area universities, the University of Washington Tacoma, the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University, but expansion to 10 cars will widen the availability of the common use fleet.
Zipcar Mazda 3
Six of those cars will be stationed in downtown Tacoma with others spread throughout the community.
The vehicles downtown will be located in on-street parking spots and will be easily accessible by public transit. Locations include the intersection of South 11th Street and Pacific Avenue, the intersection of South Fourth Street and St. Helens Avenue and near Tollefson Plaza, the company said.
“We’re thrilled to begin offering Zipcar vehicles in Tacoma to provide more convenient and flexible access to our service for both new and existing members in this market,” said Carla Archambault, general manager, Zipcar Seattle.
The Zipcar program allows members access to cars at an hourly or daily rate. The company provides gas, insurance and maintenance.
The Tacoma fleet is part of a worldwide inventory of cars parked in 16 North American metropolitan areas, in Barcelona in Spain and several cities in Britain.
Zipcar contends that the shared car program helps cities reduce their carbon footprints. Each Zipcar takes 15 privately owned vehicles off the road, studies have shown, the company said. When drivers switch from their own cars to Zipcars, their amount of driving drops by 40 percent.
Community members of the community who are interested in learning more about Zipcar are invited to check out the new cars in Tollefson Plaza from 8:00am until 2:00pm on Friday.