Zipcars and Two Free Tickets to Scruffy City Ramble


A very cool development for downtown begins today. As my regular readers know, I really don’t like to climb into a car when I’m in the city. I probably walk more than the average person and really enjoy it. So far, I haven’t gotten into a public transportation groove, but it’s because I’m willing to walk a couple of miles to a destination I find particularly appealing. Walking feels urban, driving feels suburban and, no judgement on anyone else, I’ve made my choice. I look forward to the day we reduce to a one-car family.

Still, there are times a person needs a car, right? But what would happen to the economics of owning a car if you didn’t need one often and you could borrow one anytime you wanted, albeit with a little planning? That’s what’s about to happen in the city. A kick-off event is planned for 10:00 AM Wednesday on Market Square. If you can be there, you should be. Starting at 11:30 the first 400 people get a free lunch courtesy of Tomato Head.

So, what is this all about? Zipcar is a service coming to Knoxville as of today as they have to hundreds of cities world-wide. They offer cars to borrow at $7.5o per hour or $69.00 per day – gas and insurance included. If you don’t have to drive most days, this may be a good option. If you can walk or bike to work, but sometimes briefly need a car, this may be your solution. Normally, an annual membership fee of $60 is required, but this has been waived (because our air is really, really bad) thanks to the Knoxville Regional Planning Organization.

After you join, you will be given a zipcard. Locate the automobile you would like to use (I found two on the Gay Street Viaduct by using the link from the webpage above) and use your zipcard to get into the car and drive to your desired location. Pretty easy. It’s like having a car in the city without having to pay insurance, gas, parking or any other pesky fees – except when you need to use it. There are also special plans for businesses which encourage their employees to leave their cars at home and use a zipcar during the day, if needed.

I hope some of you will check them out on Market Square today. I will, alas, be unable to do so as I will be in the salt mines earning money to subsidize my blog. I’d love to hear from any of you who make it there and/or join up. A special thanks to Alisa Ashouri and Sara Martin at Smarttrips for sending out the e-mail alert to this exciting program.


Finally, I have a giveaway. I have two passes (at $10 each!) to tomorrow (Thursday) night’s rendition of Scruffy City Ramble thanks to Chyna Brackeen. E-mail me at if you are interested. I’ll choose a winner by mid-day Thursday and send you an e-mail. Include a phone number if you’d like a text message. This is a great show every month and this month includes Henry Wagons, Sturgill Simpson, Lydia Salnikova and This Mountain. Sadly, this could be the last time you might be able to see it in the Square Room, so you want to catch it if you can. I’ll certainly be there.