Zipcar pulling back its presence in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Zipcar is reducing its Huntsville fleet from six cars to one, representatives confirmed Monday.

The car sharing company, which advertises as an alternative to car rentals, had vehicles in multiple parts of Huntsville from downtown to the Village of Providence. The cars are available for hours, or days, with a Zipcar membership.

The lone car that remains is a Honda Fit the company has named “Elba,” located outside Downtown Huntsville, Inc.

The company indicated the change is due to demand.

“While we continue to see significant excitement about Zipcar’s innovative transportation service coming to Huntsville, the six Zipcars in the area were not being reserved as often as expected and thus weren’t fulfilling their purpose of reducing the number of personal vehicles on the road, alongside traffic and parking demand,” said Katelyn Chesley, Zipcar Public Relations Specialist. “We have since reduced our fleet size in Huntsville to one vehicle and will continue to monitor utilization and demand and expand accordingly.”

While the company would not release how often the Huntsville cars were reserved (for policy reasons) it did note that there are no specific plans about relocation of additional cars, although those remain a possibility.

“We are always looking to provide more cars to more people in more places,” Chesley wrote in an email to WHNT News 19.

Zipcar is also present in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama. It launched there in 2009.

Chad Emerson, President and CEO of Downtown Huntsville, Inc, said he is glad Zipcar will continue its presence in Huntsville:

“We are excited to continue to work with Zipcar in Downtown Huntsville.  We love the convenient red Zipcar strategically located in the Downtown core.  We know that market needs evolve and we’re glad to continue to see Zipcar along with other forms of alternative transportation available in Downtown.”

Zipcar is not the only alternative transportation in Huntsville. Uber launched in March of 2016. Transportation network company Lyft is also seeking to enter the Huntsville market.