Thursday, April 26, 2018
Business

Zipcar takes on Uber with one-way rental service

NEW YORK — Zipcar markets itself as a "smarter way" to get around the city, an alternative to traditional rental car companies. But for a long time there's been something, well, dumb about the company's model: You can book only a round-trip ride. If you want to go from Point A to Point B and back to Point A again, then maybe Zipcar is for you. If you hate Point A and would never go back there again even if someone paid you $1 million, chances are Zipcar is not the smartest choice.

Zipcar has finally decided to address this flaw, announcing this week that it will offer one-way trips starting this fall. The service will roll out in September across Boston, the site of the company's headquarters and a city stocked with more than 500 Zipcar locations and 1,000 vehicles. Drivers will select their end destination when they book, guaranteeing a parking spot and taking that space off the grid for other Zipcar users.

Lindsay Wester, a spokeswoman for Zipcar, declined to comment on how the company will price its new service, Zipcar One>Way, saying those decisions are still pending. Zipcar, which is available in Florida cities including Miami and Orlando but not in the Tampa Bay area, charges $6 a month or $60 a year up front for a membership, and an additional $8 to $10 per hour for round-trip rides. Car2Go, a competing car-sharing service that does offer one-way trips, charges about 40 cents per minute or $14 per hour, depending on the city.

What's most interesting about Zipcar One>Way is that users won't be able to book trips very far in advance, with a maximum lead time of 30 minutes on reservations. Wester describes the service as for "spontaneous use." The implication is that Zipcar wants One>Way to compete with taxis and car services such as Uber that cater to last-minute transportation needs. With One>Way, Zipcar could become an alternative car rental and alternative cab service (the main difference being that Zipcar users do the driving themselves).

Comments
Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 11 hours ago
As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

WASHINGTON — With hundreds of thousands of emotional support animals taking to the skies on U.S. airlines, Congress may start pulling a tighter leash.Two new legislative options emerged this week to address a hairy issue for American Airlines, Southw...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

ST. PETERSBURG — The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving his post to take a new role with the utility’s parent company June 1, the company announced on Wednesday.Harry Sideris, 47, was appointed this week to serve as vice president and chief distr...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for U.K.-based Sky

LONDON — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered $30.7 billion for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite TV company.Comcast said it would pay approximately $17...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

TRINITY — Pasco County will be getting its first Sprouts Farmers Market, the organic grocery chain announced Wednesday. The new store will open at the Village at Mitchell Ranch on State Road 54 and Little Road. Officials with the speciality st...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

TAMPA — Circle K is converting the gas station portion of eight of its Hillsborough locations to Circle K fuel. Previously, the fuel was provided by other brands, such as Shell. The new Circle K branding also brings with it the Canadian-owned conveni...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida has the strongest residential building codes among 18 coastal states, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Florida’s rating is 95, almost three times higher than lowest-ranked Texas. Other states wit...
Published: 04/25/18
Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Times staffRedlining’ — banks’ refusal to make mortgage loans in certain areas — still has a huge effect on housing values even though the practice was banned 50 years ago. According to Zillow, a Tampa Bay house in a once-redlined area is worth less ...
Published: 04/25/18
Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

NOW OPEN: TEX-MEX CHAIN CHUY’SThe Austin, Texas-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opened its first Tampa restaurant on Tuesday, giving away free Chuy’s for two for a year to the first 50 customers. I know, we missed it, it’s a bummer, but we can still visit...
Published: 04/25/18
Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

CLEARWATER — Elected officials have talked about relocating City Hall from the downtown bluff for a good 30 years. Now there’s a jolt of urgency to actually do it.Voters backed a referendum in November that essentially greenlighted the $55 million re...
Published: 04/25/18