Equity Residential, the nation’s largest owner and operator of apartment complexes, and Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing network, are teaming up to bring Zipcars into the hands of Equity’s residents. The partnership will begin in a few key urban areas, though if things go well between the two companies, it is likely that the program will be expanded to other areas. Residents of Equity properties who utilize the services Zipcar has to offer can expect to save money on transportation while helping to relieve urban congestion and reduce carbon emissions.
Residents of Equity properties in Seattle, Washington D.C., New York and Boston will soon have easy access to Zipcars. The company is planning on providing cars right at the apartments, which will give residents easy access to these rentable cars. Though Zipcars can be rented out of many urban areas, being able to step out of the apartment and into a Zipcar will make it extremely convenient for people living certain Equity complexes to choose to rent a car rather than buy one.
People who chose to take advantage of the Zipcars that will be available at certain Equity Residential properties can expect to save money each month over the cost of owning their own vehicle. Zipcars come complete with gas, insurance, maintenance and mileage. Users of the service report an average savings of $7,200 each year by renting Zipcars when they need them instead of owning a car outright. Even people who drive every day can save money when using Zipcars.
Renting Zipcars instead of owning a personal vehicle is also good for the environment. Because these cars can be rented by the day or hour, people have them only when they need them. On average, one Zipcar rental takes 15 cars off the roads. This relieves congestion on the roads and also helps reduce carbon emissions because it helps people chose to take public transportation when it’s possible. Fewer cars on the roads also means less wear and tear on the roads. This can help reduce the cost of maintaining roads in heavily populated urban areas.
The partnership between Zipcar and Equity Residential will affect about 17,000 residents at first. If the program proves to be successful, more residents will benefit from the addition of Zipcars to their communities. Though Zipcar is a paid service, the deal with Equity Residential will offer discounts to residents of these properties; a little sweetener on an already sweet deal.
There are about 130,000 residents of Equity Residential properties across the nation. Residents in areas already serviced by Zipcar, which itself has nearly half a million members worldwide, may find the addition of Zipcar to their amenities in the near future, if all goes well in the trial run.