Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Some interesting carsharing numbers from Washington DC

There were some interesting statistics from a Zipcar press release issued in support of recent increase in on-street parking for carsharing.

The most interesting figures to me were the claims of an almost 10% adoption rate in some neighborhoods; perhaps not surprising since the press release says that 37% of DC households don't own a vehicle! And carsharing watchers will be interested in the 100% member growth rate resulting in a member to vehicle ratio of 1:40, according to the news release.

Zipcar and Flexcar both serve the DC area under a unique partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Association (WMATA). Washington DC Dept. of Transportation recently allocated more than 80 on-street parking spaces for carsharing. (The two companies decide who uses which spaces.) Here are some parts of the press release I found most interesting [I've added some explanatory text in brackets].

"With the expansion (of on street parking spaces for carsharing), Zipcar and DC DOT will provide unprecedented benefits to the 37% of District households that don't own a vehicle, while bringing car sharing to lower-income neighborhoods where the relative cost of car ownership is high Zipcar, the largest car sharing service in Metro DC and North America, realized over 100% growth in new resident and business membership in 2005 [4000 new members using 260 vehicles in the DC metro area]...

"Based on data from over 12,000 active members in Metro DC, Zipcar estimates that over 4,500 vehicles have already been removed from the region due to the adoption of Zipcar. Currently, in the Washington Metro area, each Zipcar serves over 40 members and takes over 20 private automobiles off the road, freeing parking for those that need it. With some District neighborhoods already experiencing nearly 10% adoption of the car sharing service in 2005, local neighborhoods are realizing significant infrastructure savings while providing residents and businesses with more parking options as fewer privately-owned vehicles vie for limited parking resources...

"WMATA's car sharing partnership, which also grew dramatically over the last 12 months, demonstrated an impact on urban transportation in the District, with 69% of respondents to a recent joint survey [joint with Flexcar members as well] stating that although they owned a car when they joined Zipcar, they have since sold or considered selling their vehicle. In addition, nearly 30% of survey respondents said they combined the use of Zipcar and Metro when making trips and 23% said they used Metro more as a result of joining Zipcar."

This is another in a series of very well written press releases from Zipcar. Well done, folks! Hello Flexcar, what's new with you?

Click on the LINK below to see the entire press release on PR Newswire (at least for a while).