Car-sharing company Zipcar is set to lose 80 percent of its reserved parking spaces in the District this fall. The company rents 84 spaces in the District for $200 each per year.
“It's been the only car-sharing service at all in the District since 2007. In 2011, DDOT announced they wanted to open up the District's car-sharing market by letting companies bid on the parking spaces, with a minimum bidding price of $3,600 per space,” TBD On Foot reports.
Hertz, Daimler and Enterprise all expressed interest. Apparently equal bids came in, so company representatives drew straws for allocation of parking spots.
Ellice Perez, the Zipcar manager in D.C., drew the straw for her company and only received 12 spaces. Perez was surprised that the protocol the city used only took into account the price of the bid.
“There are so many different options that are available and tried and tested in other municipalities,” Perez said.
Opinions about the move were split.
“If the same amount of spaces are being reserved for car sharing companies in general, I don't mind because it encourages competition,” said Zipcar user Andre Baly.
“It's not clear to me that having competition is necessarily for somebody who wants a system with a lot of cars. I mean, I don't really want to carry three different car sharing services in my wallet,” said Brian Radzinsky, who uses Zipcar.
Zipcar has 865 cars in the metro area, so the change this affects less than 10 percent of its fleet. Most cars are already in private lots, garages and alley spaces.
Perez said the company is meeting with parking facility owners to secure space all over the District for their members.