Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Americans Drive 9.6 billion miles less in May, Nova: Car of the Future, and ZipCar

There is this freaky story from Monday on MSNBC about Americans driving less with gas prices skyrocketing. Americans are driving 9.6 billion miles less this past May than a year ago at that same time. Nine point six billion miles. I don't know if that blows your mind but it certainly does mine. That, to me, seems huge. This is major adjustment for a lot of Americans. We've been doing pretty well with one car, but we basically live close enough to most of places that we can bicycle.

I haven't watched the recent Nova series, Car of the Future with the Tappet brothers from NPR's Car Talk, but I thought anything that stars Tom and Ray Magliozzi has to be funny, entertaining and, if it's on Nova, educational. Okay, maybe their cartoon, As the Wrench Turns, leaves something to be desired, but whatever.

I was cycling to work yesterday afternoon and on my usual route I happened to notice a Honda Element that was designated as a ZipCar. I found this rather exciting because I wasn't sure we had ZipCars in Gainesville. ZipCar is a car sharing operation where you can get a car for about $7/hr or $70/day, and that includes insurance, gas, 180 miles, and reserved parking. Gainesville is apparently one of the places in the United States where you can reserve ZipCars for personal use. I think it's run through the University of Florida; I found a page on the UF webite here detailing the monetary breakdown for the university, and it does state that private citizens can use this service. How cool is that? As an experiment, I might try to use one; I think the old man has a ZipCard through the university.
Post a Comment