Study Finds Zipcar Membership Reduces Personal Car Ownership
A new study has found that workers who use the Zipcar service are less likely to own a car than those who do not use the car sharing program.
In a report from University of California, Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC), two in five corporate Zipcar members sell or avoid buying a vehicle after joining the car sharing service. Corporate members are classified as people who join a car sharing program through an affiliation with an employer.
The study found that around 20 percent of corporate Zipcar members reported that they sold a personally owned car after joining the program. In addition, another 20 percent avoided buying a car as a result of joining the car sharing service.
Overall, the study reports the use of Zipcars for work has helped decrease the need for at least 33,000 vehicles on the roads of North America. Of the people who abandoned car ownership, 41 percent take public transportation, 22 percent travel via bicycle and another 41 percent walk more often.
Co-director of the TSRC at University of California, Berkeley, Susan Shaheen, Ph.D., released a statement about the study and the impact of Zipcar on the business world:
“The business and corporate market for car sharing - until now - has not been well researched. Applying our team and research expertise to Zipcar's raw data gives us the first look into how business car sharing members change behavior, and we found that this service yielded reduced car ownership and increased multi-modal behavior, particularly among corporate members that became zero-car households due to business car sharing.”
This is the latest sign that many younger people are more open to car sharing programs and the idea of not owning their own vehicle. While it may be a cost-efficient way to travel for workers, companies who use the Zipcar service instead of a fleet of vehicles are also reporting significant cost savings.
The hope from Zipcar now is that more companies see the success it has found in the corporate world thus far and more businesses follow the trend. With cars provided for employees at easy-to-find locations, it’s an easy way for companies to reduce emissions, parking demand and meet sustainability goals.
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