WeCar Car-Sharing Now Available in Downtown Raleigh

WeCar Car-Sharing Now Available in Downtown Raleigh

July, 20, 2010, by Ladye Jane

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Good news today for people that don’t have a car, or want to get rid of the one they do have. The Downtown Living Advocates (DLA) and Glenwood Agency have partnered to bring two vehicles to downtown for a car-sharing program for residents. The way the WeCar car-sharing works is that you sign up and pay a one time membership fee, then can reserve the car for a small hourly rate. You can use the car for as little as an hour, or even use it for overnight trips.

Transportation options of this kind are popular in cities where it is too expensive for most people to own and park a car. A similar company, Zipcar, has proven indispensable in cities such as Atlanta, where the public transportation leaves a little to be desired, and the city is so widespread that owning a car can be too expensive with gas prices the way they are. This will be the third city to set up a WeCar open-membership program, as Nashville and St. Louis began operating last April. Raleigh is starting off with two cars in easy-to-access downtown location, one on McDowell, and one off Glenwood.

WeCars Located at:
-431 S. MacDowell Street
- Next door to Mirage off West St.

One Time Application Fee - $20
Annual Membership Fee - $50

Rates (fuel included):
$10/hour, $60/day
Special Overnight Rate (6pm – 8am) - $35
$0.45/mile over 200 miles

For those interested in finding out more about the program, the Mayor will be kicking off a press conference tomorrow at 9:30am at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car on McDowell, the home of one of the cars.

Image used from some Italian website I couldn’t understand.

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Politics, Other posts by Ladye Jane.


Mayor MeekerWeCarDowntown Living AdvocatesGlenwood AgencyAnn-Cabell Baum Andersen


  • Jasdelaney
    07/20 12:11 PM

    This type of service saves money for residents since they only rent for the time they need the car. e.g. running to the grocery store, errands, picking up a friend at the airport.  I also think that now that this service is available, some residents can seriously consider the option to forego the expense of owning a car, or perhaps a second car.

    There is also the future potential to reduce Downtown housing costs, as multi-unit building owners are encouraged to uncouple parking from the cost of units, and for developers to design buildings with fewer parking areas.

  • Dental Moss
    07/20 12:26 PM

    Good. I used ZipCar when living in DC and it’s a pretty slick program. Very useful for those times when you need a truck to haul things but don’t want to go through the annoying rental car rigamaroll. It’s usually cheaper too. Hope this program is as easy to use as the ZipCar.

  • hackles10
    07/20 12:47 PM

    Have friends that use the DC service as well.  Great idea…hopefully they will add cars in the future and this sort of co-op will grow!

  • Dan from Detroit
    07/20 01:59 PM

    I might consider this service just to spite the meter maids on Fayetteville st.

  • smitty
    07/20 02:17 PM

    “A similar company, Zipcar, has proven indispensable in cities such as Atlanta, where the public transportation leaves a little to be desired, and the city is so widespread that owning a car can be too expensive with gas prices the way they are.”

    Does New Raleigh have an editor?

  • Rob E.
    07/20 02:34 PM

    This is good news. I was looking to see if Raleigh was a Zipcar location just the other day (Chapel Hill is, but not Raleigh) as my car seems more trouble than it’s worth for the amount I drive it, but I’d still like to be able to get to other locations in the Triangle on occasion.  I do hope Zipcar comes here as well, or WeCar becomes more popular, because right now Zipcar is available in some cities that I’m likely to visit, but not the one I live in, whereas the opposite is true of WeCar.  But all-in-all, this seems like a good service, and might enable me to finally ditch my car without my wife worrying that it would leave us stuck for transportation some day.

  • Ladye Jane
    07/20 03:28 PM

    @smitty Nope. Want to volunteer?

  • SmooveB
    07/20 04:59 PM

    Baby, when I roll up to your front door and escort you into my WeCar, we will slowly drive through the streets of Raleigh and I will share with you all the delicacies that your beautiful self desires. I will have the valet note the WeCar parking space reserved solely for us. We will dine upon the freshest gulf oysters and drink only the finest champagne. After our dinner, I will escort you to your waiting chariot. We can slowly tour the city, then find a secluded rooftop parking space and get crazy freaky until the dawn. After we have sated our desires, I will drive you back to your mama’s house and return my WeCar. But I gotta have it back by 8.

    Edit that, Smitty!

  • radar
    07/20 05:35 PM

    Why would you pay $60 a day, plus a $50 annual membership fee when you can rent a car for a full 24 hours, w/ unlimited mileage for $30-$40?

  • hackles10
    07/20 05:40 PM

    “Fuel Included” may be one reason

  • Rob E.
    07/20 06:01 PM

    @radar The economics don’t pan out when you look at 24 hour car rental, but this is not a traveler service. It’s geared towards residents with occasional, local car needs.  If you were routinely checking out the car for a full day, you’re right, this service would be of limited use, although there are other issues as well.  I don’t generally see car rentals under $40 or $50 dollars, and that’s usually before they tack on other fees. Plus you pay for gas, plus, in my experience, there’s lots of “fun” paperwork involved every time you rent a car, although maybe that’s not the case if you do it often. So it seems to me that even at the daily rate, a WeCar might be competitive when you figure in other costs and the convenience, but for multi-day rentals, it seems likely that a more standard car rental is likely the way to go.  But for shorter trips, it seems like WeCar would be a better deal than daily rental provided you used it more than twice over the course of a year for short trips.
    But if you generally would need a car for 4 hours or more, and you can actually find one that costs $40/day, then you may be right, the WeCar model might not work for you.

  • Kate
    07/21 04:56 AM

    SmooveB for mayor of Raleigh!

  • SF seeking We-Car with nice smile
    07/21 06:07 PM

    Oh SmooveB. Take me, and my gonorrhea.

  • smitty
    07/21 10:48 PM

    Maybe we should fix the buses before we throw more cars out there.  CAT sucks.  Bad.

  • Ames
    07/22 09:59 AM

    Great news! As soon as my 15-yr-old car dies I’m going carless and will join WeCar.

  • Rob E.
    07/22 10:27 AM

    @smitty This is still an effort to have fewer cars, and, unless I misunderstand it, it’s not funded in any way by the city of Raleigh (maybe they donated some parking?), so it’s not like anyone is pouring resources into this instead of CAT.  Although I find CAT to be mostly functional and timely. I wish they went more places more often, so I agree that there’s room for improvement, but I think it’s disingenuous to imply that this service is somehow being offered at the expense of CAT.  And it’s probably not accurate to say that it’s “throwing more cars out there.”  If only two people choose to use this service instead of owning a car, it will balance out.

  • Jasdelaney
    07/22 10:47 AM

    The two WeCars are currently 100% funded by Glenwood Agency.  There are no city funds involved.  The DLA served as match-maker, bringing the GWA and WeCar together and developing the plans to start the service in Downtown Raleigh.  Now that the service is here, the expectation is that demand will encourage other Downtown businesses, and perhaps even universities such as Shaw and Peace to sponsor more cars.

  • Rob E.
    07/22 10:52 AM

    @Jasdelaney What does it mean to say that they’re funded by the Glenwood Agency?  Does this mean that WeCar is expected to operate at a loss?  Or is GWA simply donating parking for the cars?

  • Jasdelaney
    07/22 11:22 AM

    GWA receives promotional benefit (press coverage and logo on cars) and Downtown resident goodwill as compensation for their financial contribution.

    Here is a GWA quote that was included in the press release.  “I’m confident that other downtown businesses will want to join me in supporting a car- sharing program that provides alternative transportation options for their employees,” said Baum Andersen. “The people in the downtown Raleigh community have always supported my business and I wanted to give back to the community. What better way than to help launch a car-share program?”

  • Rob E.
    07/22 11:39 AM

    So it sounds like GWA is giving money to WeCar/Enterprise in exchange for advertising space on the cars (I’d like to see photos of these cars to see how obtrusive it is).  I’m guessing that makes the business less risky to WeCar because it guarantees a certain amount of revenue and reduces the risk of doing business in a new location, but it still gets money from all of the people using the service, so it doesn’t seem like GWA could be funding it 100%.  It seems like there must be some chance that it will be a profitable business, or WeCar wouldn’t be here.  WRAL reported that it takes 50 people per car using the service for it to profitable. I wonder if that’s with or without sponsorship deals?

  • poopstar
    07/22 05:54 PM

    Please take your serious and informative discussions somewhere else. This is the snarky comment section.

  • arthurb3
    07/23 02:49 PM

    Poopstar, you’re so snarkey!

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