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Zipcar revs up in downtown

Cincinnati has officially launched its new car-sharing service that city officials say will give residents and commuters an alternative to driving a personal vehicle.  Mayor Mark Mallory says six of the Zipcars will be available--two at Garfield Place and Race Street, two at The Banks and two in Over-the-Rhine.

"This is a opportunity for people to not own a car, if they choose not to do that, because they can go online and sign up for a membership to Zipcar," said Mallory.

Zipcar members pay a fee for a card that gives them access to the cars, which can be rented by the hour or day.  Council member Laure Quinlivan is excited to see the city form a partnership with Zipcar.

"This is going to make our city cleaner, greener, smarter," she said.

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls has been impressed with Zipcar since she first saw it while living in Boston.  She said it's a long overdue and welcome addition to Cincinnati.  Council member Yvette Simpson sees it as a way Cincinnati can be a more competitive place for young professionals to live.

The city also expects it will help its parking situation.  The Director of the Office of Environmental Quality, Larry Falkin, was instrumental in getting the service to come to Cincinnati.  He said each Zipcar takes about 15 private cars off the road. 

UC has been involved with the car-sharing service since last year.