Would you use Zipcar?

Would you use Zipcar if there was one at Rahway train station? For those unfamiliar with Zipcar, here’s a brief summary and history of the company. A reader email prompted this post and thought it’d make for a potential discussion to accompany a blog poll.

The reader is a  non-car owner who bikes to work at Merck (go green!) and uses Zipcar, mostly in New York City but also around here. “The problem is that the closest Zipcar is at the MetroPark train station. I have to take the train one stop to get it and at night the train schedules are not very convenient, adding up to an hour of commuting just to get to and from the car.”

The response from Zipcar is that they only put cars where there is demand. “The best way to let us know your neighorhood is ready for Zipcar is to have your friends and neighbors add their address to our ‘Notify me page.’ We use this information as a guide to place our next fleet of cars.”

The reader makes the point: “If Rahway is to be a true ‘commuter’ community, it needs to have better facilities to attract and retain ‘commuters.'” The reader’s request: Get as many people as possible to sign up and drive demand to so they put a zip car near the Rahway station.

Zipcar are being considered as part of a plan to bring artist/affordable housing to the Arts District. The idea of recycling shipping containers as housing on the Arts Guild property was presented to the Redevelopment Agency last September.

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While we’re sort of on the topic of shipping containers, I came across this brief from Grist, a Seattle-based environmental news site. The original and longer piece on shipping containers as housing (“The Container of Hope: Designed for People not Stuff”) can be found at Treehugger.com, another site focused on sustainability. Worth a look, if only to see what can be done with them, both interior and exterior. Shipping containers also are being reused for DeKalb Market, a group of 22 small shops and vendors that opened this month in downtown Brooklyn.

10 thoughts on “Would you use Zipcar?”

  1. Although I see many people commenting negatively about this on the Rahway Rising facebook page, I think that Zipcar would be beneficial in Rahway, if only for a niche market. Obviously, people that drive EVERYWHERE and never take public transit, are going to say that Zipcar would be a waste. However, zipcar, or more accessible means of alternate transportation for that matter, is needed to make Rahway into the commuter town the Redevelopment Agency really aspires it to be. Many people who have their licenses do not have a car. Many more people would take the train if they had a faster means of getting back and forth (not so attractive for people living over a mile away). Use of Zipcar in Rahway would probably be slow at first, but I could see it encouraging use of public transit more if the service came to town. People that say otherwise, probably drive everywhere they go or live close to the train station.

  2. Zipcar will appeal most to those leaving the city for a city with Zipcars, or those looking to give up their car.I for one will not be giving up my car should Zipcar come to Rahway.

  3. i wouldn't give my car up but would absolutely sign up. i read it costs 60 dollars a year to stay enrolled and you can grab a car and boogie at any time you need. what if your cars trans goes and you have to get to work ? my wife travels great distances for work occasionally , the amount per mile her job provides is double the cost of a car through zipcar for the entire trip under most circumstances . you set the whole thing up through your smart phone and no miles on our leased jetta ! im going to hook up with the metro park zipcar until they get one in town because thats one cheap insurance policy if i have ever seen one. its a shame to have been missing out for this long.

  4. I think ZipCar would be ideal for Rahway. With all of those new apartments near the train station, there are bound to be young people who don't have (or don't want) a car, but would like the option for a hassle-free rental like ZipCar. The demographic that would choose to live in downtown Rahway likely uses public transportation on a regular basis, but as anyone who has lived around here without a car knows, there are just certain places or activities that are easier to get to with a car. Hopefully, people who live in some of these new buildings in downtown Rahway will see this post and maybe circulate this information among their neighbors in the building. I'd bet that there is enough interest to bring ZipCar to Rahway.

  5. I'd consider it. I pay $342 for my car right now. I'm actually in walking distance of the train, I might consider trekking there in nice weather. I can get grocery deliveries from Shop-Rite, and emergency supplies right up the block from CVS and Walgreens. So really, the only reason I need my car is more for emergency purposes, and getting out of town now and then. I could see it saving me several thousand dollars a year between the car lease, insurance and gas. If they had them easily accessible around town, it would be an appealing idea.

  6. Zip Cars are probably most useful for city dwellers to access cars without paying for city rentals. When I lived in Manhattan, I often took NJT out to Summit and rented a car from there for weekend trips. Zip Cars make that type of thing much easier. Rahway's problem in this reagrd is that its station has lousy highway access relative to, say, Metropark. It's too bad that there is no connector from Rahway to Exit 12 on the Turnpike.

  7. Zipcars at the Rahway train station would be great ! You can rent them by the hour and gas/insurance are included. Great idea, especially if Rahway is to become a true commuter city ! Come on Zipcar – put cars in Rahway !!!

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