Once upon a time, I was a Flexcar member. I could book a car online by the hour, get into a Flexcar near me with the simple swipe of a keycard, then drive off to Green Drinks or wherever I wanted to go. Wheee!
Then Flexcar suddenly merged with Zipcar — and pulled the cars from all its L.A.-area locations, except USC and UCLA, forcing me to deal with pushy upsells from the Enterprise employees near me when I need a car.
Now, Enterprise and Hertz is ready to compete against Zipcar on the no-hassle, by-the-hour rental service — a.k.a. car-sharing service. Earlier this year, Enterprise launched WeCar, its own carsharing program. And a few days ago, Hertz launched Connect by Hertz, which works pretty much just like Zipcar rentals and boasts Prius and Mini Coopers in its fleet.
I’d be very psyched about this, except neither of this services are near me. WeCar’s basically only in St. Louis — aside from some school and business-specific programs. Connect by Hertz is only in New York, Park Ridge, N.J.,London and Paris.
Hopefully the programs will expand to L.A. soon! After all, if the City of St. Louis can work out a special deal with Enterprise’s WeCar, why can’t the cities of L.A. and Santa Monica do the same? Bringing these programs to town would let many more people — who rarely drive but retain a car for emergencies — finally get rid of their cars. That’d help many Angelenos save a lot of money — without compromising their freedom to get about town –
Thumbnail photo: Prius power button by frekur; screenshot: Courtesy Connect by Hertz