SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

February 13, 2013

Zipcar happy with expansion to North Shore

By Bethany Bray
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — Nearly three years after expanding to Salem, Zipcar says the North Shore has been a good fit.

The Cambridge-based car-sharing company worked with city and Salem State University officials to set up Zipcar locations throughout Salem in 2010. Zipcars are also located on the Endicott College campus in Beverly.

The company would not disclose the number of members here or how frequently their cars are used, but a Zipcar official said things have been going well.

“We’ve been (in Salem) for a couple of years now, and we look forward to continuing to grow our presence and grow our membership,” said Lisa Feldman, general manager of Zipcar’s Boston office. “... The city is a great Zipcar market because it’s very walkable.”

Roughly eight Zipcars are located throughout Salem: on SSU’s central campus, at Riley Plaza, and in the Crombie Street and Church Street parking lots. There is one Zipcar spot at Endicott College.

The company expanded to Salem in the spring of 2010 after receiving requests from members, Feldman said.

Zipcar members reserve a vehicle online and unlock the car using a keyless entry card. The keys are left in the vehicle for the next user.

Members come from a range of demographics, Feldman said, from students to families that use Zipcar for a second car.

“Zipcar has a really broad appeal,” she said. “... What makes Zipcar unique is that we have a lot of (car) makes and models available.”

The company tends to do well in communities that are easily walkable and where parking is expensive or difficult, Feldman said.

Zipcar was founded in 2000. The network’s more than 767,000 members can reserve cars by the hour or by the day at rates that include gas, insurance and other costs associated with car ownership.

The majority of Zipcar members do not own a car, Feldman said.

Zipcar members can choose between 30 types of cars, depending on preference and need. On the North Shore, Zipcar offerings include the Ford Focus hatchback, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Honda CR-V SUV, Honda Insight hybrid and others.

The company operates a fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles in 20 major cities and more than 300 college campuses in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Spain and Austria.

According to Zipcar.com, the company targets large, densely populated markets with a well-developed or rapidly developing middle class, strong public transportation systems and high costs of car ownership, as well as university campuses and the surrounding communities.