SAN DIEGO – Flexcar, the pay-by-the-hour transportation solution for people who gave up cars for a greener lifestyle, is shutting the door on many customers across Southern California, according to San Diego Union Tribune. The company is pulling its signature white-and-blue cars from urban markets in favor of concentrating business on college campuses. In San Diego County, that means only the University of California San Diego in La Jolla and the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.
Following a recent merger with competitor Zipcar, it appears the move was based on finances.
By its own estimate, Flexcar had about 800 customers between San Diego and Los Angeles. Its business model was to park cars of various makes —pickups, sedans, minivans, even sports cars — in marked spots around town. Customers rented them by the hour.
When the companies merged in October, Flexcar was operating in San Diego; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. Zipcar was in Boston; Chicago; New York; Washington, D.C.; London; Toronto; and Vancouver, British Columbia.
In the merger announcement, the companies promised to provide a “network able to deliver new member benefits and accelerated growth to the burgeoning car-sharing industry.”