Through a yearlong pilot program, 300 New York City Department of Transportation employees will share 25 Zipcar vehicles — 23 hybrids and two vans — for daily official business between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm on weekdays. The vehicles will be stored at several private garages in Lower Manhattan so as to reduce the number of City vehicles using on-street parking; participating employees will reserve them online and then retrieve them via Zipcard. Perhaps even more interesting, however, is that outside working hours, the vehicles will be made available to the general public through Zipcar. Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan explains: “Car share is an innovative way to do more with less and address the City’s environmental and fleet-reduction goals. 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.”
With potential savings of more than $500,000 over four years in reduced City costs for vehicle acquisitions, fuel and maintenance, the pilot could be expanded if it’s successful — which it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t be. Seems like only a matter of time before something like this comes to every thriving metropolis; how about getting involved and helping to make that happen.