Some months ago, Erica C. Barnett of The Stranger noted concerns that Zipcar, the company that consumed the much-loved Flexcar, would slash service in Seattle as they have already done in LA and San Diego.
There was reason to be concerned. Beacon Hill is about to lose its only Zipcar site on top of the hill, as well as the nearby site at 29th and Columbian Way. Zipcar members recently received this email:
“The Zipcar location at Beacon Ave S/Lander St is being closed December 31, 2008, but have no fear — there’s a Zipcar located just down the street at S Charles St/Hiawatha Place.”
Just down the street? That’s a long walk for Beaconians, roughly 1.4 miles. See the map below, in which doomed Zipcar sites are marked in red, and the remaining site at Charles and Hiawatha is marked in green:
Zipcar’s website currently does not mention that these sites are going away, so some folks might have planned Zipcar memberships as Christmas gifts, only to find that their local Zipcar will be gone after New Year’s Eve.
This change seems extremely short-sighted, given the forthcoming opening of the Beacon Hill light rail station across the street from the Beacon/Lander Zipcar (which is currently in the Red Apple parking lot), and the Columbia City light rail station a block or two away from the Columbian/29th Zipcar. The locations would seem to be ideal for use in conjunction with transit.
You can tell Zipcar what you think by writing their Seattle General Manager, Carla Archambault, at Zipcar, 380 Union Street, Seattle, WA 98101; phoning 206-323-3539, or faxing 206-682-1657. The email address they give is company-wide (not just Seattle) so it may not be useful, but it is firstname.lastname@example.org.