BALTIMORE, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar Inc. and the City of Baltimore, through the Parking Authority of Baltimore City, today officially launched car sharing in the city with 22 new Zipcars parked in convenient locations across the city. Zipcar's expansion to Baltimore was made possible by an innovative partnership with the City and the Parking Authority which has dedicated 22 on-street parking spots as part of a plan to reduce congestion, emissions and parking demand, while offering citizens affordable personal transportation.
This partnership extends Zipcar's existing service at several Baltimore-area universities, including Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College and Towson University, bringing the total number of Zipcars to 45 in the greater Baltimore area. In addition to providing parking spaces, the city has committed to using Zipcar for employee transportation needs, allowing them to ride transit to work and use Zipcar for government business.
"With Zipcar and car sharing we are able to address two key priorities at once," said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "We offer our citizens a new way to save money without sacrificing mobility, and also address the challenges of reducing congestion, parking demand and carbon emissions. Car sharing is a smart policy choice that benefits everyone involved."
Zipcars will be available by the hour or by the day to members, who can reserve one online, via mobile device or touchtone phone. A simple fee includes gas, insurance, 180 free miles, parking in the reserved spot and 24/7 roadside assistance. Rates begin at $7 per hour and $66 per day, depending on the type of vehicle. The initial fleet will include a variety of vehicles, including Toyota Prius hybrids, Tacoma pick-up trucks, Smart Fortwos, and Mini convertibles. Zipcar members can access any of the more than 7,000 Zipcars worldwide, including at every stop along the East Coast Amtrak line: Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
"The traditional 'car-centric' design of cities is beginning to give way to a more 'people-centric' design, and Zipcar is big part of that dynamic," said Mark Norman, president & COO Zipcar. "Zipcar is a smart choice for consumers looking for affordable alternatives to car ownership, and a smart policy choice for governments dealing with the pressing issues of congestion, parking and their carbon footprint."
National studies have shown that each shared car takes up to 15 personally-owned vehicles off the road, helping to decrease parking demand. Zipcar members report driving up to 40 percent fewer miles and increasing transit use by 20 percent after joining, helping to reduce emissions and congestion. Up to 60 percent of members report either selling an existing car or avoiding buying a new car and saving an average of $600 per month.
Zipcar operates 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.
Zipcar and the Zipcar logo are trademarks of Zipcar, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.