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Zipcar-DOT College Collaboration Getting Crazy Use, Parking Tickets

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The city's year-long pilot partnership with Zipcar, which put designated car sharing spots on the streets near USC and UCLA, turned three months in December, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation reported last week on how it's going. The program originally had six parking spots at each school, but four more were added later at USC and two more are coming to UCLA. That's because use of the cars has been way higher than expected, hitting year-long estimates (30% growth) in just a month. USC-area users have been borrowing at a 13% higher rate than UCLAers. The Zipcars are being borrowed for an average of seven hours, which is much higher than the national average. Total membership is up too--100 new people have signed up and 300 existing members are using the college cars rather than Zipcar's other LA cars (there are 50).

Problems? Well, of course non-Zipcars have been parking in the designated spaces, with 100 citations issued at UCLA (but no tows), and 70 citations and 36 impoundings at USC. Which perhaps teaches us an important lesson about illegal parking at the two schools. But the Zipcars are being parked illegally too, including two dropped off in red zones. Short-staffing in the Parking Permit Division of DOT, which is handling the program, has caused delays in implementation. Add to that that Zipcar's offices are in Massachusetts, with the closest rep in San Diego.

Streetsblog reports on ideas for expanding the program discussed at the meeting, including a partnership with Metro that would put car share spaces at transit stations.
· Zipcar Interested in College Students; Sorry Downtown Oldsters [Curbed LA]
· LADOT: Car Sharing a Hit at UCLA, USC. No Plans to Broaden the Program or Encourage Competition to ZipCar [Streetsblog LA]

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