CHICAGO, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) today announced the launch of a sustainable transportation option for state employees, with car sharing services through Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq : ZIP ), the world's leading car sharing network. This initiative will help support the State's goal to reduce overall fuel consumption and promote environmentally-friendly forms of transportation for State business. Employees in the Chicago metropolitan area and Springfield will have access to Zipcar's hybrid and other fuel efficient vehicles to meet state business travel needs.
"Alternative transportation is an important part of our efforts to reduce costs and improve efficiency, while helping to reduce our environmental impact," said CMS acting director Malcolm Weems. "Through this partnership with Zipcar, we will lower costs by paying for vehicles only when needed and help minimize emissions by using Zipcar's fuel-efficient fleet of cars."
Through Zipcar's Z4G (Zipcar for Government) offering, a number of state agencies will have on-demand access to nearly 500 Zipcar vehicles currently located across the city of Chicago, as well as a new fleet of vehicles in the city of Springfield. State employees will be able to reserve Zipcars as needed for state business use 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the State paying only for the time the car is actually reserved.
"Smart governments across the country are looking for ways to improve efficiency and reduce expenses, and car sharing is a proven avenue for achieving these goals," said Scott Griffith, Zipcar's chairman and CEO. "We applaud the State of Illinois for implementing a smart transportation policy to augment its fleet and provide greater access to sustainable transportation options for employees."
Zipcar's service was selected through the State's open and competitive procurement process. The State's car sharing initiative includes the introduction of four vehicles in Springfield, two located by the State Capitol Complex and two located near the Amtrak station for easy access for those using rail to travel between Chicago and Springfield. All Zipcar hourly and daily rates include gas, insurance, reserved parking spots, 24/7 roadside assistance and up to 180 miles of driving per day.
"With Zipcars located across Chicago and our expansion into Springfield, we are confident that the State of Illinois will benefit from the flexibility and convenience of car sharing," said Jonathan Gonsky, general manager for Zipcar Chicago. "Employees can take last-minute trips to either government hubs or pick up a Zipcar when they arrive in one of the cities and get to where they need to go."
Car sharing represents a viable alternative to car ownership, which can lower costs and provide an important component of a sustainable transportation network in Illinois. Studies show that vehicle miles traveled per driver is reduced by almost 50 percent when car owners switch to car sharing, helping to reduce congestion and CO2 emissions. A recent survey revealed that Zipcar members reported a 47 percent increase in the use of public transit after becoming members, 10 percent increase in cycling and 26 percent increase in walking.
Zipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with more than 605,000 members and over 9,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car. More information is available at www.zipcar.com. Zipcar and the Zipcar logo are trademarks of Zipcar, Inc.
SOURCE Zipcar, Inc.