Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIP), the world’s leading car-sharing network, along with City of Austin Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Council Member Chris Riley, today announced a significant expansion of the Zipcar car sharing network into the City of Austin. The new program will provide Austin residents, visitors and businesses with increased access to convenient transportation options that reduce downtown parking demand, traffic congestion and the city’s carbon footprint overall, while also helping to foster a more pedestrian-friendly community.
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“Through the success of Zipcar’s program at the University of Texas at Austin, we’ve built a strong member base in Austin and see the city as a strong car-sharing market,” said Mark Norman, Zipcar president and COO. “With the flexibility, reliability and convenience that Zipcar offers, along with our variety of fun and functional vehicle choices, Zipcar members in Austin now have more options to meet their transportation needs. Whether they want to visit Lake Travis, go on a road trip to New Braunfels, run an errand at Home Depot or attend a business meeting, Zipcar gives our members the option to drive what, when, where and how they want.”
Zipcar will launch in the City of Austin with a broad range of 40 vehicles, including hybrids, hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks. Vehicles will be conveniently located throughout downtown Austin and on the University of Texas at Austin’s main campus and west campus. With this launch, Austin officially becomes Zipcar’s 18th major metropolitan market. Zipcar will open the doors of its new office in Austin today, located at 107 East 10th Street at Congress Avenue.
“We are pleased to welcome Zipcar to the City of Austin, and believe this new program fits in well with our approach to smart urban living while protecting our environment,” said Mayor Leffingwell. “By expanding the availability of car sharing, we are introducing a new sustainable and cost-effective transportation option for both residents and employees of local businesses. It is also a great example of increased business expansion into Austin with the opening of Zipcar’s new office.”
“Austin continues to strive to be a leader in providing innovative transportation alternatives for our residents,” City of Austin Council Member Chris Riley said. “There is no single answer to solving our complex transportation needs, but by promoting large-scale car sharing, we can help address mobility and environmental challenges in and around our urban core.”
Zipcar has offered car sharing on the campus of University of Texas at Austin since January 2011 and has been extremely well-received by students, faculty and staff, as well as by members of the local community. Zipcar has a presence on more than 250 college and university campuses, making the company the largest provider of campus car sharing in North America and the leading choice for car sharing programs among colleges and universities.
“The University of Texas at Austin chose to bring Zipcar to campus in an effort to introduce students, faculty and staff to the world’s leading car-sharing company, and have been extremely pleased with the success of the program and its popularity among students,” said Blanca Juarez, alternative transportation manager for The University of Texas at Austin. “Since we launched the program, Zipcar has helped reduce parking demands on campus, while showing our commitment to sustainability by helping to reduce our carbon footprint. We’re excited about the expansion into the city to give all residents of Austin access to the convenience and flexibility Zipcar provides.”
In addition to local residents, students and visitors, the Zipcar program in Austin is available to employees of local businesses through the company’s “Zipcar for Business” program that offers discounted driving rates Monday through Friday. This program helps businesses save money, meet environmental sustainability goals and reduce parking requirements by providing their employees with access to Zipcars for business needs and other uses.
“In addition to replacing car ownership entirely for most of our members, Zipcar is the perfect ‘second car’ for two driver households who need occasional access to a second vehicle, and is also a great option for employees of local businesses who may take public transit to work, but sometimes need to use a car during the workday,” Norman continued. “Additionally, Zipcar members ages 21 and up have access to our entire network of vehicles in our markets throughout the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, providing them with ‘wheels when they want them’ both at home and on the road.”
An alternative to the high costs of vehicle ownership, the Zipcar hourly and daily rates include gas, reserved parking spots, insurance, roadside assistance and up to 180 miles of driving per day. Cars can be reserved for as short as an hour or for multiple days. Rates on all vehicles start as low as $7 per hour and $66 per day (24 hours). For more information on joining Zipcar, visit www.zipcar.com.