Monday, July 7, 2008

Zipcar update: This plan just keeps getting better

This morning, I get to work and I have an e-mail from a woman who works at Zipcar. Apparently, she has a Google Alert set up to e-mail her when anyone posts blogs, news, etc., about Zipcar. She was alerted to my last two blog posts, in which I talked about my plans to use Zipcar. She looked through the rest of my blog and deduced that I work for USGBC. Through even further detective prowess, she figured I may well be the USGBC employee who had e-mailed them on Thursday with a question about the application process. I was, which meant she now had an e-mail address with which to contact me.

Turns out that Zipcar is planning a promotion called Low Car Diet. In this promotion, 30 people in D.C. are selected to give up their cars and use Zipcar, Metro, buses, bikes and other alternate forms of transportation for a three-week-or-so period this summer. Participants put together two written or video blog posts about the experience to post on the Zipcar Web site. Would I be interested, she asked, in participating? I would be.

In return for my participation, I get one year's membership fee waived. (That's a $50 value, although with my discount as a USGBC employee it would have only cost me $25.) I also get $150 worth of free Zipcar driving time - at my USGBC discounted rate. That rate is about $7.25 per hour (depending on the car), which translates to more than 20 hours. Actually, it's more than that probably, as there is a full-day (USGBC discounted) rate of about $50 (I don't remember exactly what it is). That means the $150 could be worth 72 hours! I also get an as-yet-undetermined amount of money on my SmartCard, which you use to ride Metro trains and buses. I get a membership in some local bicyclists' association, which would be cool if I had a bike. :) And I get to be part of a fun promotional event.

There will be a kickoff event later this month at which we symbolically hand over our car keys and pick up a goody bag. And then we start blogging! I'll let you know when and where you can see my Low Car Diet posts.

I knew this selling-my-car thing would be a good idea!


Joe said...

Wow, Doug. Congratulations. Zipcar plus 15 minutes of fame! I'm glad I was on the side of people who agreed with selling the beloved Prius. Can't wait to see how it turns out. I wonder how long it will be before something like Zipcar is feasible in Utah.

Will and Michelle Ridd said...

That's great - great for you, great for the environment, and great for Zipcar! And you're being a great example to all of us reading your blog! (wow, that's a lot of "great"'s for two sentences!) Nice work bro!

amelia said...

Go Doug! If Zipcar woman reads your comments: Doug is a PERFECT candidate for this because his posts will be entertaining, interesting and thought-provoking.

Spenc said...

So wait... you can't sell your car until it's over?

doug said...

No - I can sell my car whenever. The key hand-over is just symbolic; we will get them back immediately afterward.