Several years ago, businesses in urban areas started to realize that car-share services like Zipcar and City Car Share could deliver significant savings in reduced fleet, fuel, rental and taxi services. Chambers of Commerce around the country soon started to introduce member companies to the benefits of car sharing.
Zipcar is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the chamber there immediately recognized an opportunity to save its member companies even more through a negotiated partnership that eliminated application fees and offered lower rates. The program was an immediate hit with members.
“We’re continually looking for innovative ways to boost the benefits we offer our members that help cut the cost of doing business,” said Sarah Kennedy, the chamber’s Director of Government Affairs. “Energy use and clean air are also important issues in our community. Across the nation, Zipcar is believed to take thousands of emission producing vehicles off the roadways. Some companies can go further by offering their employees use of the hybrid or electric vehicle plug-in cars.”
The trend has spread with chambers across the country offering similar programs with various car sharing companies. In Virginia, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce also offers discounts for its member companies on business accounts with Zipcar. On the other coast, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce offers discounted access to City CarShare, a local company and chamber member. And smack in the middle of the country, the Chicagoland Chamber also provides members with car sharing benefits.