“Car share is an innovative way to do more with less and address the city’s environmental and fleet-reduction goals,” said Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “This strategy helps meet those goals while opening up curbside parking, and by letting the public use the same cars that we use, it helps stimulate the Lower Manhattan car share market.”
“It is becoming more evident that the ‘one car, one driver’ model is broken. Individuals, businesses and municipalities are pursuing transportation options, such as Zipcar, that will reduce the need for cars in the city and alleviate traffic, parking and pollution concerns,” said Mark Norman, president and chief operating officer of Zipcar.
Under the pilot program, car-share vehicles – owned and maintained by Zipcar – will be stored at several private garages in Lower Manhattan, reducing the number of city vehicles using on-street parking. After 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and throughout weekend hours, the vehicles used by the Department of Transportation will be made available for public use by Zipcar, providing more New Yorkers the opportunity to benefit from car sharing. The Zipcars will be available to the city employees in the pilot project from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, though only five to 10 of the cars will be available during morning and evening rush hours, to encourage employees to drive at times when the roads are less congested.
The vehicles used in the pilot are 23 hybrid vehicles and two mid-sized vans and will be used by Department of Transportation personnel to carry out a variety of responsibilities related to the planning, operation, maintenance and repair of the city’s streets, sidewalks, bridges and other infrastructure, as well as to attend meetings not accessible by public transportation. The Zipcar program is similar to rental cars, though vehicles can be reserved on an hourly basis instead of by the day. Registered Zipcar members make reservations via an on-line registration system for a set period and can select vehicles from any car share location with an available vehicle.
Employees participating in the pilot will make a vehicle reservation online, then retrieve the vehicle from the garage using a credit card-sized Zipcard, which they will swipe against the vehicle’s windshield transponder to open the door and unlock the engine.
Last year, Mayor Bloomberg ordered all city agencies to reduce the number of light-duty, non-emergency city vehicles by at least 10 percent, which resulted in the sale of more than 750 vehicles generating more than $1 million in revenue from auto sales and an estimated annual savings of $2 million. v
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