Zipcar, Inc., the world’s leading car-sharing network, along with Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, today announced a significant expansion of the Zipcar car sharing network, bringing a new regional office and a commitment to work to grow the car sharing market in the city. Los Angeles officially becomes Zipcar’s 16th major metro market, and extends the availability of Zipcar from San Diego to San Francisco and many points in between.
“Zipcar believes the car capital of the U.S. is increasingly becoming an ideal market for car sharing,” said Mark Norman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Zipcar at a launch event today. “We’re already seeing adoption trends and usage patterns similar to our other major markets, and with the increased number of vehicles, technology enhancements and a consumer base driven by smart consumption, we think L.A. will become an excellent car sharing city over time.”
Zipcar has offered car sharing on the campuses of USC and UCLA since 2006, and has been steadily building out its service area in the broader Los Angeles area since 2009, when it partnered with the city for a pilot program for on-street parking spots in the neighborhoods surrounding both schools. The pilot was expanded in December 2010 to include the addition of Zipcars in on-street parking spots in the Hollywood area.
“Car sharing programs give their members a greener, cleaner transportation alternative and L.A.‘s partnership with Zipcar is giving Angelenos that option,” said Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti.
Zipcar now offers over 125 vehicles throughout the City, including those in Hollywood and vehicles located on and near local university campuses, including Loyola Marymount University, Occidental College, the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Irvine (UCI) and Pomona College. It will open its new office early next month.
An August 2011 Zipcar member survey demonstrates that consumers in L.A. are thinking differently about car ownership. More than 90 percent of respondents reported that they have either postponed buying a car or were able to sell either their primary or second car because of Zipcar. The survey also found that, overwhelmingly, members in the program are strong users of alternate forms of transportation.
“In addition to replacing car ownership entirely for most people, Zipcar is the perfect ‘second car’ for two driver households who need access to a second vehicle only part of the time,” Norman continued. “Zipcar complements other modes of transportation like walking, biking and public transit, and with the average cost of car ownership in L.A at more than $9,500 per year, we provide a convenient, cost saving alternative.”
In fact, according to the survey, 14 percent bike, 22 percent ride the bus and 26 percent walk as their primary mode of transportation, and report believing that Zipcar enables them to continue this lifestyle by helping them meet their personal transportation needs without the financial burden of owning a car. As a transportation solution, Zipcar has been proven to take cars off the road, and provides a viable alternative to car ownership, making it an important component of a sustainable transportation network in Los Angeles.
Gas, reserved parking spots, insurance, roadside assistance and up to 180 miles per day are included in the hourly and daily Zipcar rates. Cars can be reserved for as short as an hour or for up to several days.
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