Zipcar Partners with Zimride to Launch First Integrated Ride and Car Sharing Application at Stanford University
First step in national rollout to make car and ride sharing more convenient, social & fun
CAMBRIDGE, Mass./PALO ALTO, Calif. (April 8, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — Zipcar, the world's largest car sharing provider, today announced a first-of-its-kind, exclusive partnership with Zimride, the world's leading social online ride sharing community. The partnership will integrate car sharing and ride sharing services and make it possible for Zipcar members to seek, offer and share Zipcar rides with friends and others in or outside of their social network. It also will enable Zimride ride sharers to use Zipcar as their vehicle, removing the need to own a car. The joint service will be offered to colleges and universities, starting today with Stanford University.
"Zipcar is the perfect partner, given that they are operating car sharing programs on over 120 colleges and universities across the country," said John Zimmer, co-founder and COO of Zimride. "Both companies aim to decrease emissions, reduce vehicle miles travelled and save people money. Sharing a Zipcar and ride sharing with your friends magnifies the benefit all the way around – it's a 1+1=5 kind of impact."
The combination of Zipcar and Zimride creates a new level of freedom, and makes an otherwise routine trip more social and more fun. Zipcar leverages Web and wireless to make reserving and using a car by the hour as easy as getting cash from an ATM. Zimride leverages the power of social networks, consumer ratings/rankings and Web 2.0 to make finding and sharing a ride a snap.
"The market for our services on campuses across the country is huge. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are nearly 13 million faculty, staff and students on more than 2,500 campuses, many of whom don't have convenient access to transportation," said Scott Griffith, CEO of Zipcar. "We chose to partner with Zimride because their innovative and scalable platform is a great foundation for building a national network of rides. Zipcar fills the car ownership gap for the Zimride model, since people most likely to ride share are those that are least likely to own a car."
Given the parking constraints, socially-oriented populations, and high demand for ad-hoc transportation at universities, Zimride and Zipcar have created a customized version of their application specifically designed to allow students, faculty and staff direct access to the system.
The integrated service will allow Zipcar members to share a ride by automatically posting the date, time and destination of the Zipcar trip to the Zimride campus community. Once posted, Zimride's route matching algorithm finds and notifies users looking for a ride. Additionally, Zimride members may find a local Zipcar to share at anytime. This is done seamlessly through a customized campus Zimride website or Facebook application.
Zipcar's low hourly rates already include gas, insurance, parking, maintenance and 24/7 service: sharing that ride with others can lower the cost even more. This practice will also further reduce carbon emissions. Zipcar members already reduce vehicle miles travelled (VMT) by 40 percent compared to owning a car. Now, with ride sharing in a Zipcar, VMT's are reduced even further.
The companies will announce additional university Zipcar-Zimride partnerships in the coming months. Information on bringing this system to campuses is available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Zimride is the leading provider of online social rideshare systems in North America. Since launching in 2007, Zimride's rideshare solutions have served more than 300,000 users across the country and around the world. Its ridesharing community is based on simple and intuitive software that combines Google Maps, social networking and a proprietary ridematching algorithm. People looking for rides are connected with people offering rides along a similar route. Zimride works directly with universities, colleges and corporations to maximize the efficiency of their current transportation infrastructure. More information is available at www.zimride.com.
Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing service with 275,000 members and 6,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout 26 North American states and provinces as well as in London, England. As a leader in urban transportation, Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to savvy city residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car in the city. More information is available at www.Zipcar.com.