Carsharing programs are a great resource for people who occasionally need a car but don't want the expense and/or trouble of car ownership. Carsharing programs provide access to a fleet of vehicles for short term use (priced by the hour or even minute), located conveniently throughout the community and with most if not all costs (gas, insurance, etc.) bundled into the rate. When used in conjunction with public transportation, walking or bicycling, carsharing can reduce or eliminate the need to own a personal vehicle. For businesses, participation in a carsharing program can reduce or eliminate the need to store and maintain company cars, or to require employees to bring their personal cars to work.
Arlington County is directly served by Zipcar, with over 80 vehicles parked throughout the County, and hundreds more throughout the region. Also providing carsharing services in the region are Hertz On Demand and Car2Go, although their fleets are for the most part located in Washington, DC.
Why Would I or My Employees Become Carsharing Members?
First and foremost, carsharing can save you and your employees, residents, or guests money. For people who drive infrequently, the fixed costs of car ownership are a majority of the costs associated with driving. By switching from personal car ownership to carsharing membership, these infrequent drivers could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
Non-monetary benefits drivers experience include:
- New vehicles (reliability and comfort)
- No maintenance or repair responsibilities
- Vehicles always clean
- Different vehicles for different purposes (whereas private owners have the same car all the time)
- Convenient locations where people live and work
- Guaranteed parking space (*not all business models)
How Can Carsharing Serve My Business?
Zipcar offers membership plans for businesses of all sizes. Many organizations offer carsharing as an added employee benefit or as a way to pay for transportation to and from meetings. Zipcar’s FastFleet service has the capacity to manage corporate vehicle fleets and may be able to save your business money by reducing overall fleet size.
How Can ATP Help?
ATP makes it easy and convenient for you to establish and administer a carsharing program or benefit by performing the following services:
- Providing information on carsharing services
- Explaining implementation choices tailored to your business
- Sponsoring workshops or seminars featuring information about carsharing
How Can I Encourage Participation?
There are numerous ways to get the word out and encourage participation in carsharing programs, including:
- Sending out e-mail notifications and reminders
- Displaying posters and flyers in high-traffic areas
- Including information packets with paychecks
- Including an article in your company newsletter
- Providing information on your company's intranet or website
- Including information in your new hire or new tenant packets
CommuterPage.com provides more background on carsharing in this region, business models, benefits, and links to local survey results and reports.