Zip Cars Coming To Knoxville

Knoxville drivers who want to get to where they're going without owning a car now have another option available.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero announced Wednesday the city's partnership with Zipcar, a car-sharing service that allows members to rent cars by the hour without having to pay for gas or insurance.

"It's a way to reduce congestion in terms of the need for parking downtown," said Mayor Rogero.  "It saves CO2 omissions because there is less cars on the road, and it's a way to save money because it's a lot less money than owning a car."

The $60 yearly membership fee has been waived for Knoxville residents 21 and over, thanks to a grant to improve air quality from the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

"We got enough to cover a good many people joining," said TPO principal planner Kelley Segars, "Something like 500 people."

University of Tennessee students 18 and over will also be able to rent cars on campus and will also have a membership fee of $35 waived during the first year.

Rates for reserving Zipcar vehicles start at $7.50 per hour and $69 per day.

Gas, insurance and up to 180 miles of driving per day are included in Zipcar rates, and cars can be reserved for anywhere from an hour to multiple days.

Four Zipcars will initially be available to the public - two on the Gay Street viaduct and two on UT campus at the intersection of 20th Street and Andy Holt Avenue.

"It's going to start small," said Segars. "If there is the demand, and the cars are in use all the time, then Zipcar is happy to add more cars to our fleet."

Members can choose from a Ford Focus or a Honda Civic.