courtesy of ‘NCinDC’
Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing service, announced it has acquired Streetcar, the UK’s fastest growing car club. The acquisition will benefit both Streetcar and “Zipsters” (Zipcar members) by offering more vehicles, a greater variety of hybrid and other green cars, and more locations, and give members access to both networks’ vehicles located in cities in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
Zipcar currently offers hundreds of cars in the Metro DC area that members can rent out by the hour or day. Car sharing services, like Zipcar, are a fantastic way to get the benefits of having a car without all of the associated costs.
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’
WTOP has an interesting article on how the DC government is using ZipCar’s auto management technology to increase efficiency in their auto pool. I’m all in favor of the government reducing its number of cars on the road and it’s hard to argue with a projected $1M+ a year savings, but the article somewhat glosses a significant fact. The vehicles continue to be owned and maintained by the DC government, meaning that sharing vehicles in the auto pool isn’t something they couldn’t have already been doing on their own – this is just a licensed, managed solution they’re utilizing, and at an ongoing cost.
WTOP states that the fleet has been reduced by 17%, 360 cars. That works out to an original pool size of 2,117 vehicles, which reduced by 360 means 1,757 now. The article cites a monthly price of $65 to $90 per vehicle, so averaged that’s $77.50/vehicle/month, or $136,167/month for the whole fleet, $1,634,010 per year.
It would be interesting to what it would have cost to get a solution custom-built and run by a local firm.