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Expanding Car-Sharing to New, Car-Centric Markets

Zipcar is a newcomer in Tampa Bay, but the efforts to expand its business in the next few years will provide a case study in how less dense cities can expand alternative transportation options.
January 13, 2016, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Justine Griffin covers the ongoing efforts to expand the use of car-sharing in Tampa Bay, a city that tends not to encourage many people to go carless, like San Francisco, Chicago, or New York can.

According to Griffin, "[c]ar-sharing companies have been in Tampa Bay since before anyone was using the words Uber or Lyft. But the rollout of the business model — which lets users rent a car by the hour or the day usually online or through an app — has been slow to catch on."

Zipcar has been in Tampa for a year, currently operating eight cars, but "the company is preparing to expand its local fleet when the new rental car facility opens at Tampa International Airport next year," writes Griffin. Zipcar "is also talking with transit organizations in Tampa to expand further," according to a Zipcar manager quoted in the article.

Griffin cites another car-sharing service based at the University of South Florida as an example of the quickly growing market for car-sharing services. The question broached by the article is whether the city has enough alternative transportation options to supplement and compliment car-sharing as a business model.

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Published on Friday, January 8, 2016 in Tampa Bay Times
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