Zipcar is bringing its new one-way car-sharing service to Seattle — kind of.
The transportation company today announced a partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital for a pilot that allows employees to use Zipcar’s ONE>WAY program to and from the hospital’s three campuses in Seattle. Hospital staff will be able to use five Zipcar vehicles to travel either one-way or round-trip between the three facilities.
The ONE>WAY program is also in beta to the general public in Boston, where 250 Honda Fit vehicles have been available since last year for on-demand point-to-point trips with reserved parking spots at each location. Zipcar traditionally forces people to return their rental car to the original pick-up spot; ONE>WAY, however, allows for one-way trips. The model is similar to Car2go, which lets people rent smart cars and park them in any approved city parking spot — no matter where the trip originated from.
This marks the first expansion of ONE>WAY outside of Boston and is Zipcar’s first corporate account that is testing the new program.
“We’ve been thrilled with the results of our ONE>WAY program in Boston and are eager to test even more use cases for this great service,” Carla Archambault, director of strategic initiatives, product and experience for Zipcar, said in a statement. “Our long-standing relationship with Seattle Children’s, combined with their eagerness to test new mobility options, made them the perfect partner to pilot this new use case for our ONE>WAY service.”
In Boston, Zipcar’s new point-to-point service costs around $6 per half-hour of use, which includes gas, insurance, and reserved parking on both ends. Zipcar announced last week that it will expand its ONE>WAY program to Los Angeles, Denver, and Philadelphia in the coming weeks, but has no plans yet for Seattle.
In January, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance in January that allows for three more “free-floating car sharing pilot programs,” in addition to Car2go. However, a Zipcar spokesperson said today that since the ONE>WAY model has reserved parking included the destination, free-floating permits are not needed.