I wish them luck with this.
Car sharing. Two words that still sound a little foreign when used together in Texas.
Yet on Tuesday, a Massachusetts firm called Zipcar made its debut in the state with a car-sharing service at Rice University.
The service is similar to a traditional car rental business but is underpinned by a broader mission: to get Americans to change the way they think about owning and driving cars.
"We envision a world where there are more car sharers than car owners," Zipcar spokeswoman Kristina Kennedy said as she stood in front of a sign-up table on the Rice campus.
The service works like this: Rice students pay $35 for a yearlong membership, which allows them to reserve a car at $7 an hour or $60 a day.
At the reserved time, a swipe of a membership card across a sensor on the windshield unlocks the door. Keys are inside. Insurance is paid for, and members can buy gasoline at no cost using a charge card inside the car. But drivers pay a penalty if they return the car with less than a quarter tank.
Formed in Cambridge, Mass., eight years ago, Zipcar has had success with the service in metro areas including Chicago, Washington, Boston and San Francisco.
After dropping its minimum renting age from 21 to 18 last year, Zipcar is moving aggressively to contract with college campuses.