Zipcar's Tremendous Influence on Consumer Car Use

The Zipcar has exerted a tremendous amount of influence on the ways in which people use cars. A recent survey in a city in which the Zipcar was recently implemented indicates that people who belong to Zipcar are likely to do less driving as a result. In contrast, people are more likely to take advantage of public transportation options, more likely to engage in physical exercise, and more likely to experience a better quality of life.

Whenever Zipcar enters a new city and sets up shop, they take surveys and gather feedback from drivers to determine which effects Zipcar availability has on the drivers. An example of a recent survey occurred in Baltimore, where Zipcar debuted one year ago. According to the drivers of Baltimore who made use of Zipcar's services, the number of drivers who took more than five trips by car over the previous month was reduced from 38 percent, which had been the percentage of such trips taken by drivers before joining Zipcar, to only 12 percent.

This significant reduction meant that people were less likely to rely exclusively on the automobile to get them from one place to the next during the average month. However, the results did not mean that people had simply stopped using cars and going to different places since Zipcar became available. Rather, additional results from the survey indicated that people who used Zipcars were likely to start walking more to get from place to place. In fact, they walked 21 percent more than they did prior to using the car sharing service. They also began to bike more at a 14 percent hike, and 11 percent more began to use public transportation to meet their mobility needs.

As significant as these statistics were, however, the most significant statistic involved a deeper change in perspective toward transportation and the necessity of the automobile. In particular, 72 percent of people who joined Zipcar stated that having the ability to share and rent cars on a temporary basis made them less likely to either lease or purchase a car in the future. Beyond this, close to 20 percent of Zipcar members flatly stated that because of Zipcar, they had decided to sell their own personal vehicles. And close to 50 percent of ZIpcar members stated that they specifically chose not to buy a vehicle since they had access to Zipcar's services.

These statistics show the effects of Zipcar are not limited to simply encouraging people to take advantage of the service; the statistics also indicate that people are likely to consider a change in how they transport themselves and how much they rely on personal vehicles. It is an ecologically friendly solution to the necessity of personal transportation.

The statistics clearly show that ZIpcar has had a huge impact on the use of cars by consumers. Public transportation and non car transportation increased significantly over the measured year, which has positive spillover effects on traffic, parking, and pedestrian safety within cities where ZIpcars have been introduced.

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