January 11, 2010

Zipcar, Zimride expand integrated car, ride sharing app.

Last week, car sharing provider Zipcar Inc. and social online ride sharing community Website Zimride announced the launch of an integrated car and ride sharing application on five new campuses — UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maryland and George Mason University — at the Consumer Electronics Show's (CES) HigherEd TECH conference in Las Vegas.

The integrated Zipcar-Zimride application allows members to share a ride by posting the date, time and destination of the trip to the Zimride campus community. Once posted, Zimride's route algorithm finds and notifies users looking for a ride to the same or nearby destination. Zimride members may also find and share a local Zipcar if a posted ride is not available or does not exist.

Campuses integrating Zipcar and Zimride into their overall transportation demand management (TDM) programs will help reduce congestion, parking demand and CO2 emissions while at the same time providing a cost-saving and convenient alternative to car ownership for faculty, staff and students, according to the two organizations.

The Zipcar-Zimride application already is available on 10 campuses across the U.S., including: UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, California State University - Long Beach, USC, the State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase, Minnesota, Stanford and the University of Michigan.

A recent survey of Zimride members, which drew more than 750 responses, illustrated several trends that are driving rapid car and ride sharing adoption while supporting a significant shift of transportation options on campuses throughout North America. The Zimride study also revealed that the most common Zimride trips are for people commuting to and from campus, with the average Zimride member commuting 20 miles round trip and saving about $2,500 per year compared to driving alone.

Zipcar, which has been offering campus car sharing since 2002, now has programs at more than 150 private and state colleges and universities across the country.

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