Sunday, March 8, 2009
I'm sitting outside the Weaver Street Market in Carboro, North Carolina (just outside Chapel Hill), on a delightful Spring morning. I've visiting my dear friend Mitu Gulati, who is off at a spinning class while I drink coffee and catch up on some work. We are going to meet another dear friend, Richard McAdams, in a while to eat Allen & Sons barbecue and go to the UNC-Duke basketball game this afternoon. Barbecue, law and economics with two of the best practitioners of the genre, delightful weather, and UNC-Duke basketball -- this is as good as it gets.
I highly recommend an article about Zip Cars in this morning's New York Times Sunday Magazine: Mark Levines, "Share My Ride" -- available here. The story of the growth of the company (including the painful dismissal of one of its founders) is fascinating, as is the idea of substituting shared for wholly owned automobiles. The University of Illinois has recently joined the Zipcar network. I'm not certain how many of their cars are available on our 40,000-student campus in Urbana-Champaign, but the attraction to the company of having that many people away from home and, possibly, cut off from the use of the family car must make the campus an attractive business proposition. I'm eager to find out more about the availability on our campus.
You can access the Zipcar website at www.zipcar.com, where there is a link to the New York Times article mentioned above.