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How Zipcar handles the snow

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 26, 2011 03:09 PM

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The flakes have just started to fall — again. And in January so far, we've gotten more than fifty inches of snow.

As a Zipcar member, during the winter I always wonder: am I going to be the unlucky schlub stuck shoveling out the car I've reserved after (or during) a snowstorm?

I called Zipcar's head of communications, Greg Winter, to ask how the car-sharing company handles it when its fleet gets dumped on.

Winter says that about 60 percent of the company's cars in Boston are parked outdoors (the other 40 percent have cozy garage spots.) Once the snow stops falling, the same contractors that Zipcar employs to clean its vehicles fan out to start shoveling, "even if it's 10 PM at night," Winter says.

And if a member reserves a Zipcar mid-blizzard? Well, there's a shovel and a snow brush in every car, Winter says, and if you wind up having to do significant excavation, the company will give you a small credit toward your next reservation.

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Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.

About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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