February 19, 2012
It is predicted that Los Angeles will become more dense in the years ahead. This has caused us at the Land Use Lab to wonder whether anything can be done about the traffic that will likely worsen as more and more people move into Los Angeles County.
One local city, the City of West Hollywood, is taking proactive steps to mitigate traffic through ridesharing.
On February 15, 2012, West Hollywood announced that it was teaming up with Zipcar, Inc., a car sharing network. Zipcar provides self-service vehicles that are located in reserved parking spaces. For instance, in West Hollywood, ten vehicles will be located in pods of two at the following locations:
Those wanting to use Zipcars may apply online (heads up: Zipcar checks your driving record). After being approved, Zipcar’s clients can reserve a car and manage their accounts online. Cars can be reserved for as short a time as an hour or as long as several days.
Zipcards, which are issued to Zipcar’s patrons wirelessly, ensure that no driver can take another’s reservation. Zipcards also lock and unlock the car’s doors.
In the press release, West Hollywood’s Mayor John J. Duran noted that the pairing of West Hollywood and Zipcars was an example of smart urban planning and living. National studies have shown that each car shared takes 15 privately owned vehicles off the road, and that vehicle miles traveled per driver is reduced almost 50% when car owners switch to car sharing.