Business

Zipcar drives into Richmond market

Zipcar Vancouver general manager Mark Pribula with one of the firm’s car-share vehicles at Richmond Centre.  - Matthew Hoekstra photo
Zipcar Vancouver general manager Mark Pribula with one of the firm’s car-share vehicles at Richmond Centre.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra photo

One is a sedan, the other a small SUV. But these otherwise ordinary vehicles parked at Richmond Centre are anything but.

The new wheels are the latest additions to Zipcar Vancouver’s fleet. The car sharing company has expanded to downtown Richmond, with two designated parking stalls across from the Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line station.

Unveiled last week, the Richmond Zipcars are now part of a global network of vehicles that promise a convenient, cost-effective alternative to car ownership. The firm already has nearly 125 Zipcars in Vancouver.

“Richmond’s a great fit,” said Mark Pribula, Zipcar Vancouver’s general manager and a Richmond native. “There’s more and more residential towers coming up around here, and people are starting to realize—do I need to own a car, does my family need to have two cars.”

Zipcars can be reserved around the clock by anyone in the firm’s network. Hourly reservations start at $8.25 per hour and $72 per day for occasional drivers. Gas, insurance and 200 kilometres of driving per day are included in the cost.

According to Pribula, each car share vehicle has the capacity to take up to 20 cars off the road. Using the vehicles in place of owning a car can be environmentally responsible and save an individual—or family—money.

“Our motto is wheels when you want them. That’s what it is: use a car when you need a car,” said Pribula.

“If you can walk, if you can take transit, if you can cycle, we embrace that. We want you to do those things. Use a car when you need a car.”

Zipcar also offers convenience for travellers, who can make an immediate reservation to secure a vehicle in cities around the world—accessing the car by using their personal Zipcard, which unlocks the doors.

Car2Go was the first car-share company to break into the Richmond market. It has two vehicles stationed in the parking lot at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Lansdowne Road campus.

Modo, the third major player in the local car-share market, also has two vehicles in Richmond: one near Lansdowne Station, another at Brighouse.

Last fall Richmond council made it easier for car-share companies to expand here by reserving up to three on-street parking spaces around Canada Line stations for car-share vehicles.

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