CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIP), the world's leading car sharing network, today announced the launch of its fourth annual Low-Car Diet challenge. As part of the challenge, Zipcar is calling for car owners in participating markets to pledge to give up their personally-owned vehicles for 30 days and seek alternative methods of transportation, starting July 25, 2011.
Participating markets in this year's Low-Car Diet challenge include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. To apply for participation, individuals can visit: http://zipcar.com/lowcardiet.
Once all applications are received, three participants per city will be selected and will form "teams" to represent their respective market. These participants will be equipped with Zipcar memberships and prize packages to make the Low-Car Diet challenge exciting, rewarding and convenient. Starting on July 25, for 30 days, participants will walk, bike, take public transit or use Zipcar to get where they need to go, leaving their personally owned vehicles parked in their driveways or garages.
Teams will chronicle their experiences with weekly video blog posts and regular social media updates. At the end of the challenge, Zipcar representatives will compile the videos taken and additional results from each team and will post the videos to Zipcar's Low-Car Diet website. Friends, family, fans and other Zipsters can visit the site and vote on the team that best embodies the Low-Car Diet lifestyle. The team that receives the most votes will receive a grand prize.
"A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that Americans view a car as their greatest necessity -- more than a land line, cell phone, TV or even high speed Internet. What is ironic is the average U.S. household spends 19 percent of their income on transportation -- largely for a car that sits idle more than 90 percent of the time. It's a model that is neither affordable nor sustainable," said Zipcar Chairman and CEO Scott Griffith. "Zipcar provides the freedom and benefits of car ownership without the substantial financial investment. As a leader in 'Collaborative Consumption,' Zipcar provides access without ownership. We are thrilled to launch our fourth year of Low-Car Diet in the U.S. and Canada to further raise awareness for the benefits of car sharing, and to encourage more people to adopt a low-car lifestyle."
The results of the 2010 Low-Car Diet prove that the program yields environmental, health and financial benefits through alternative transportation. Last year, participants reported that they increased their miles biked by 80 percent, decreased miles driven by 69 percent and lost a total of 247 pounds. The 262 Low-Car Diet participants across 12 cities also reported that they walked a total of 5,400 miles; took 1,667 bike trips and 4,168 public transit trips throughout the duration of the challenge.
In addition to the health benefits, the Low-Car Diet offered car owners the experience of relying solely on alternative modes of transportation, including car sharing. The experience gave participants the chance to familiarize themselves with Zipcar's network of car sharing in the U.S. and Canada and allowed them to access vehicles when necessary.
Zipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with more than 575,000 members and more than 8,000 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.
Photos and b-roll footage are available for media purposes at www.zipcar.mediaroom.com.
Zipcar and the Zipcar logo are trademarks of Zipcar, Inc.
SOURCE Zipcar, Inc.