CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar Inc., the world's largest car-sharing service, announces the results of the company's third annual Low-Car Diet challenge. During the challenge, 262 participants in 12 cities across the United States and Canada pledged to give up their personally owned vehicles for 30 days by finding other ways to meet their transportation needs. In total, participants ended the month-long challenge by walking more than 5,400 miles, making 1,667 trips by bike and taking 4,169 trips on public transit, all while limiting their car use to just 354 rides using Zipcar's car sharing network.
"As we've seen the annual Low-Car Diet grow, Zipcar has been able to demonstrate how easy it is to benefit our own health and the environment by utilizing a mix of alternative transportation options," said Scott Griffith, Zipcar chairman and CEO. "We continue to see participants truly embrace this lifestyle beyond the 30-day program. They are seeing that the car-sharing model is a viable alternative to ownership, by demonstrating the freedom of having access to a car when needed, without the expensive cost that comes with it."
The Zipcar Low-Car Diet includes the economic, environmental and health benefits associated with a smart lifestyle. Throughout the 30 days, participants increased their miles biked by 80 percent, decreased their miles driven by 69 percent and lost a total of 247 pounds. Sixty-two percent of participants said they planned to continue the car-free lifestyle after the challenge was completed.
In addition, the Low-Car Diet's focus on healthy lifestyle by encouraging walking and cycling as a means of transportation impacted all participants. "I've noticed marked improvements in my physical health in my ability to climb a hill on my bike without changing the gear," said Christy Splitt, a 2010 participant from Portland, Ore. Fellow Portland challenger Daniel Wise noted a similar feat, commenting, "I started to lose weight pretty rapidly. I ended up losing 10 pounds in about a month."
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.
"This challenge was a little extra motivation to seek out an alternative. Ideally, I'll be much more disciplined coming and going to work," said Adrienne Ollerenshaw, a 2010 Atlanta participant who took the challenge with her husband. "It seems like daily routines are where we waste the most in our cars. We've talked about selling the car altogether. Maybe we'll have that conversation again soon."
Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing service with more than 500,000 members and 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.
Zipcar and the Zipcar logo are trademarks of Zipcar, Inc.
SOURCE Zipcar Inc.