'Zipcar' comes to Orlando, Winter Park

- Zipcars are coming to Central Florida.  Officials welcomed the new car-share program on Wednesday.  Zipcar has already been introduced at the University of Central Florida and allows people to rent a car fast and for a short amount of time.  Now, Zipcars will soon be parked at six spaces around Downtown Orlando, two place in Winter Park, and four at Disney Springs.

Officials say you can check a car out with the swipe of a card and can be rented by the hour or by the day. Here's how the ride share service works: you sign up for the service and you get a Zip card in the mail. All you have to do is simply take this card, and scan it at the vehicle. Just like that, and presto, you're in. You do have to book a Zipcar online or on your phone, via a mobile app.  Rates vary, depending on the city and the type of rental plan you choose.  You can find rates by clicking here

The new program has several benefits, including providing an affordable short-term transportation option, decreasing parking demand and increasing sustainability.

Orlando tried a car-share program once before with Hertz, but it did not work.  Mayor Buddy Dyer says Zipcar is a better option. "I think there will be more advertisement or more notoriety. I don't think a whole lot of people actually knew the car share program in downtown Orlando, and with the notoriety of Zipcar, I think it will be better known," he says.

Zipcar is in dozens of cities around the country and Winter Park Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel says our youth demand choices like this. "It has to be there. So it has to be in your community. It has to be in education. It has to be in transportation. So the more choices we have, the better our community will be."

Zipcar will have cars at six parking spaces in the Downtown Orlando area:

1. Ivanhoe Village District, on North Orange Avenue, south of East New Hampshire Street
2. Orange County Courthouse, on South Orange Avenue, north of East Amelia Street
3. Lake Eola, on Broadway Avenue at Robinson Street
4. Lake Eola, on North Eola Drive, south of Washington Street
5. Thornton Park, on South Eola Drive, south of Central Boulevard
6. City Hall/CNL Garage, off Boone Avenue

Zipcar's two Winter Park parking spaces include:

1. Winter Park Train Station
2. Hauck Parking Lot at Rollins College

Zipcar will have limted presence at Orlando International Airport and resorts in Lake Buena Vista near Disney Springs. Also keep an eye out for special "ZipCar only" parking spots around the city.

Click here to see an interactive map of Zipcar locations. 


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