"Providing alternatives to car ownership will help improve the environment and the city's traffic congestion," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during a press conference.
In mid-September, Zipcar expanded its car sharing program on the campuses of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC).
Zipcar added 12 new vehicles in reserved parking spots on city streets in the neighborhoods adjacent to UCLA and USC. "Providing alternatives to car ownership will help improve the environment and the city's traffic congestion," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The pilot program was made possible by a public-private partnership by Zipcar, Mayor Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council and is intended as a first step toward a potentially larger expansion of car sharing in the Los Angeles area.
“Our partnership with Zipcar will give more people a real alternative to owning a car without having to sacrifice the flexibility of having one when they need one,” said Eric Garcetti, City Council President. “This program will cut down on our carbon emissions, reduce our traffic congestion, and help the people of Los Angeles save money.”
Convenient access to Zipcars on city streets is proven to provide benefits to local residents, taxpayers, and the environment, according to a statement released by the Mayor's office. For residents, car sharing helps reduce parking demand and congestion, as each Zipcar takes between 15 and 20 personally owned vehicles off the road.
In addition, members report driving 40 percent fewer miles and increasing public transit use by nearly 20 percent, helping to reduce traffic congestion and emissions. Finally, the average Zipcar member reports saving more than $600 per month on transportation costs.
Zipcar vehicles are available by the hour or by the day to members, who can reserve a car via phone, online or a mobile device. A simple hourly/daily fee as low as $8/hour and $66/day weekdays, and $9/hour and $72/day weekends, includes parking in the reserved spot, gas, insurance, 180 free miles and 24/7 roadside assistance.
"I am very excited that our partnership with Zipcar will give more UCLA students options for local travel while helping to reduce the traffic impact around UCLA,” said City Councilman Paul Koretz, whose district includes UCLA.
In addition to being able to access vehicles in Los Angeles, members have access to Zipcar’s network of vehicles throughout the state, along the West Coast, across the country and around the world.