Zipcar Launches Its Newest Market: The City of Providence

Zipcar to open Providence office; new program aims to offer convenient, affordable transportation across the City and reduce parking demand
Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIP), the world's leading car sharing network, along with Mayor Angel Taveras and the City of Providence, today announced Zipcar's expansion into Providence, R.I., the second largest city in New England.  The new program is intended to provide residents, businesses, city employees, college students and visitors with increased access to convenient transportation options that reduce downtown parking demand, support sustainability and contribute to a walkable and pedestrian-friendly community.  

"Providence's partnership with Zipcar is a significant step towards our goal of providing a greener and more sustainable environment for our residents. It is also a great example of increased business expansion into Providence and a boost to our local economy through job creation," said Mayor Taveras. "Zipcar is already popular with the Providence community through its program with local universities, and we believe that by expanding the availability of car sharing throughout the city, we are providing convenient transportation options that will not only reduce the city's demand for parking, but also aid in reducing harmful emissions."

"We applaud Mayor Taveras and his commitment to the Providence community by embracing innovative transportation solutions, and we are thrilled to be expanding into such a dynamic and vibrant city, especially one so close to home for Zipcar.  Zipcar believes Providence's burgeoning urban core and the success of our University programs in the area makes it a very attractive market for car sharing," said Mark Norman, Zipcar's president and COO.  "The opening of our new office in Providence will mark our fifteenth metropolitan market, which is a significant milestone for us as we continue to expand into new cities."

Zipcar will offer a wide range of vehicles in Providence including the Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Matrix, Scion xB, Honda Insight and others available throughout the city and near local university campuses, including Brown University, Johnson & Wales and Rhode Island School of Design.  New on-street pods of vehicles will be located on Exchange Street between Finance and Stillman streets, within walking distance of the Providence Amtrak station, as well as on Traverse Street just north of Wickenden Street, and on South Main Street north of Power Street.  Additional vehicles will be located in areas with high foot-traffic areas to provide greater access to transportation methods within the city and decrease the need for personally owned vehicles.  

"Zipcar has been a key part of Brown's strategy to reduce the number of cars on campus, and increase transportation options for the Brown community, as well as the wider community in Providence.  We are proud to be a partner in this effort and look forward to its continued success," said Richard Spies, executive vice president for planning, Brown University.

In addition to memberships for individuals and Universities, Zipcar also offers a "Zipcar for Business" (Z4B) program, which currently has more than 10,000 business accounts.  Zipcar will launch the Providence program with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the state's leading health insurance provider and Rhode Island Housing, the state's leading resource for housing needs, as two of the first Z4B programs in the market.  Z4B is targeted at helping businesses save money, meet environmental sustainability goals and reduce parking requirements by providing their employees with access to Zipcars for business meetings and more.

"For several years, the Providence Foundation has encouraged the creation of a car sharing program in this market, and we are excited that Zipcar has launched in downtown Providence," said Daniel Baudouin, executive director, The Providence Foundation.  "Residents and employees of local businesses now have increased transportation choices, which are both cost-effective and green, and can be easily combined. Workers can now take public transit to work and use a Zipcar for business meetings when needed, cutting costs for both individuals and local companies, while also helping the environment."

As an environmentally friendly transportation option, Zipcar can help to reduce Providence's carbon footprint.  National studies have shown that each car shared takes 15 privately owned vehicles off the road, and that vehicle miles traveled per driver is reduced almost 50 percent when car owners switch to car sharing.  

An alternative to the high costs and hassles of vehicle ownership, the Zipcar hourly and daily rates include gas, reserved parking spots, insurance, roadside assistance and up to 180 miles of driving per day. Cars can be reserved for as short as an hour or for up to four days. Rates on all vehicles start as low $8.50 per hour and $66 per day (24 hours).  Providence members ages 21+ also have access to Zipcars in all markets where Zipcar is offered, including the nearby markets of Boston and New York City, as well as other cities throughout the US, Canada and the United Kingdom.

About Zipcar

zipcar.JPGZipcar is the world's leading car sharing network with more than 575,000 members and over 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.
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