Friday, February 13, 2009

Alive and Zipping

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving! Things in DC have died down since the inauguration and it's back to business as usual. A bad economy and a lack of good subject matter have kept me away from the blog recently. I'm hoping for an adventure next week when I drive to see a Bloodhound Gang concert. Arranging the road trip alone was a bit of an adventure, but a promising one. The concert is close to Baltimore, far from the leash that has tied me to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority since I moved to the city. I love DC and I love how easy it is to get around without having a car, but I couldn't pass up the chance to see my favorite band again. The show is on Monday, February 16th and I've had tickets for months, but I was weighing my options for finding transportation to the concert. I decided it was time to sign up for a Zipcard.

A Zipcard is a great thing and probably new to those of you far away from a major metropolitan area. Around here it's no big deal, it's just a plastic card (like a credit card) that you use to unlock cars. I realize how ridiculous that probably sounds if you're new to this concept, but I assure you it's entirely legit. It's a car-sharing program and they have hundreds of cars located throughout the city. Once you have an account, you go online and reserve any available vehicle and if it's available, you take it for a spin. If you just need to run to the grocery store, you can rent a zipcar at an hourly rate, or you can rent it for the entire day. It's incredibly convenient, although it is a bit gimmicky. Members are referred to as "zipsters" and each vehicle has its own name and personality. I will be driving Matrix MacDaddy to the concert. I'm really looking forward to meeting this apparent Scottish Toyota. Who knew?

I signed up to be a zipster just for the concert, but I have to admit that the program makes me feel a sense of freedom I didn't have before. There are about 6 zipcars within a couple of blocks from my apartment and they have their own reserved parking spots. Now when I get home from the concert after midnight I don't have to worry about the Metro being closed or having to drop off a rental car at an airport somewhere, I can park my car a block away and get right to bed. Since I'm signed up and have my Zipcard, I can now reserve any car I want whenever it's available. That means if I'm at home watching a Taco Bell commercial and get a sudden craving, I can log onto the Zipcar website and hop in the car right outside and run through the drive-thru. Of course, that also means a bottom line of over $10 just for a bean burrito and some cheezy potatoes, but I must admit that there have been some nights when an accessible Taco Bell would be worth twice that much money.

In all likelihood, I will not have the budget nor the poor judgement to get a $10 burrito late at night, but I will celebrate the freedom of knowing I can do so. In the few months I've lived in Washington I really have been a slave to the Metro system and this gives me access to so much more of the city. It's not as cheap as the Metro, but the prices are pretty reasonable when compared to the price of owning a car and paying for fuel and insurance. I can't wait to see the BHG in concert on Monday and I am so excited to be able to drive again!

If you are reading this and you are in an area where they have Zipcars, I added a link to the Zipcar site where you can save $25 if you sign up. While I think it's a great program, the promo on this blog entry is completely selfish on my part. If you use the promotional code to sign up for an account, I'll save money on my account too.


Anonymous said...

What a cool concept, keep me posted on how it goes. And enjoy the concert!!

Anonymous said...

OK. What happen to Zipping and the game on Monday?