Zipcar goes mobile

October 05, 2009Members of the Duke community can now find and reserve Zipcars from their iPhone or iPod Touch.

Zipcar AppThe 24/7 car sharing program, which allows members to borrow a car without carrying costs of ownership or commuting, has introduced a new application that can be downloaded for free from or the iTunes application store. The application will even allow users to honk their Zipcar horn and lock and unlock the vehicle from their iPhone or iPod.

Director of Duke Event Management Chuck Catotti said having the new application only makes using Zipcar a better experience for Duke students, faculty and staff.

“People won’t need to rush back to their dorm or desk to get online and reserve a car anymore, making it easy to check availability from anywhere, anytime,” said Catotti, who oversees Parking and Transportation Services. “Zipcar is all about making car-sharing easy and convenient so that at the end of the day, we have fewer cars on the road.”

The Zipcar application will only run on an iPhone or iPod Touch with OS 3.0 software.

Since the Zipcar came to Duke in January, more than 250 employees and students have joined the program, paying a $35 annual membership fee. Users may rent from one-hour to up to four days at $8 per hour or $66 a day, booking time through the company’s web site:

Zipcar’s fleet at Duke expanded in August from four to six cars: three each of the Toyota Matrix and Prius models parked on East and West campuses. There’s no cost for gas; members just have to leave a quarter of a tank for the next user as a courtesy. The goal is alternative transit to reduce traffic, parking demand and pollution.

While the application won’t work on non-Apple products, Zipcar members can still reserve vehicles by visiting from any mobile device. Some smartphones, including BlackBerry and Android, can locate Zipcars using WHERE, a GPS mobile application.

To download the application or for more information, visit the Zipcar website.