Long before Uber was ruling the streets, the idea of car-sharing was associated with companies like Zipcar, the service where users can pay to use a car just when they need it, and then park it for someone else to take. Now Zipcar is looking to apply that same model to bicycles, and has announced a new partnership with Zagster where they will bring a new bike-sharing service to 15 college campuses in the US.
The service will be called — wait for it — Zipbike, and is scheduled to launch in January 2017 with the first 10 participating universities, with another 5 being added before the end of the year. “The goal is to make Zipbike the standard for bike sharing on hundreds of campuses nationwide over the next few years,” Zipcar exec David Piperno says.
While moving into bike-sharing that’s limited to just a few college campuses may not seem like much of a beneficial expansion for Zipcar, it seems the company’s real goal is draw in new users to its overall service. The new bike service will integrated with the existing Zipcar app, so users will have one account, and even get a discount if they sign up for both bikes and cars.
Pricing for Zipbike will be different depending on the location, Zipcar says, based on information from each school. The company notes, however, that prices will be competitive with existing bike-share services, and that a small membership fee will be combined with a flat hourly rate on rides, but a set amount of time for each ride will be free.