Zipcar, MBTA Enhance Partnership to Reduce Car Ownership, Increase Commuting Options
Cambridge, MA (March 28, 2007) — To reduce car ownership and provide more commuting options, Zipcar and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) today announced a multi-faceted partnership that will expand the Zipcar program to a dozen T locations along the Green, Orange and Red lines, making it easier for people to live and work car-free in the city.
Partnered with Zipcar since 2002, the MBTA is the first transit agency in the country to house vehicles at various transit stations throughout its service area. Through this partnership, the MBTA will expand Zipcar locations from three to twelve. Currently, a Zipcar is available at Alewife, Forest Hills, JFK/UMass, and Savin Hill stations. Over the next few months, 20 more spaces will become available at 8 stations along the Red, Orange, and Green lines.
By placing more than 24 vehicles at a dozen T stops, including Alewife, Woodland, Riverside, Savin Hill and Forest Hills, the partnership will allow residents to rely on public transportation for most trips, while utilizing Zipcars for the “last mile” of their travels. Zipcars placed at Oak Grove, Malden Center and three Quincy stations also expand Zipcar’s footprint further outside of Boston, bringing the convenience of car sharing to Malden, Quincy, as well as Newton, and Braintree for the first time.
The partnership also includes website integration with Zipcar incorporating T maps, locations and details into its new web reservation system, as well as cross, in-station co-marketing, and a joint effort to roll-out the new Charlie Card to riders and tens of thousands of local Zipcar members. To kick-off their work together, Zipcar and MBTA will host a launch event at South Station on March 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the event, people can learn more about Zipcar and the partnership as well as take advantage of special promotions and meet executives from Zipcar and the MBTA.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is the nation’s first public transportation system. It is also the fifth largest in the country. The T provides service to 175 cities and towns, which comprise the MBTA's district in eastern Massachusetts. Customers are using the T for work, school, medical appointments, entertainment, and shopping purposes each day. The T has become the way to get you where you want to go, from the city to the suburbs. With the high cost of gas these days, more people are considering public transportation, and being aware of the variety of options can increase the level of convenience with which people can get from Point A to Point B.
"Here at the T, we are continuously examining methods to improve transportation options while protecting the environment,” said MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas. “Using both the T and Zipcar to get around town reduces congestion and pollution, while at the same time saves people time and money.”
As the world’s largest car sharing service, Zipcar has proven that combining car sharing and public transit is a real catalyst for change in urban communities. Through established partnerships with San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and Washington DC’s Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) and District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Zipcar has found that members report a 46% average increase in public transit use once joining the service. Nearly 60% of Zipcar member also state that cars being located at Metro stations is a key factor in joining the service and 40% of members say that joining Zipcar has led them to get rid of their car or put off a purchasing decision.
According to Dan Curtin, Regional Vice President for Zipcar, the partnership with the MBTA makes perfect sense. “A recent survey of Zipcar members in Boston revealed that 96% regularly ride the T, and we are seeing an increasing number of commuters electing to take transit to work and utilize Zipcars during the day.” he said. “In this way, our relationship with MBTA is natural. It will bring the mix of car sharing and public transit to more Massachusetts residents and reduce the number of cars coming into the city.”
Zipcar currently has more than 550 vehicles in more than 325 locations throughout Greater Boston, serving more than 85,000 individual and business members with 2,500 vehicles worldwide. With more than 40% of members reporting that Zipcar led them to sell or put off purchasing a vehicle, Zipcar estimates that its service has eliminated more than 5,000 vehicles from the Metro Boston streets. Zipcar members also report that on average they drive more than 4,000 fewer miles each year and save more than $435 each month compared to when they owned a private vehicle.