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In Honor of Globally Recognized "Car-Free Day," Zipcar Releases New Data about the Impact of Car Sharing on Traffic and Parking Competition in Washington, D.C.

PRNewswire 19-Sep-2023 9:10 AM

Car-sharing Washingtonians spend half as much on transportation than car-owning counterparts and free city spatial equivalent of 70 Lincoln Memorials

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- September 22 marks the worldwide initiative "Car-Free Day," which encourages motorists to take a break from driving and explore environmentally-friendly options like mass transit, biking, scooters and walking. According to a new survey from Zipcar, the world's leading car-sharing company, a segment of Washingtonians, those who share a car (compared to personal car owners), significantly contribute to the environmental and social health of Washington D.C. by eliminating additional cars on the road, congestion, parking competition and carbon emissions. Nearly 30% of Zipcar members in Washington D.C. ditched their personal car after joining Zipcar, eliminating an estimated 8,000 vehicles from Washington D.C.'s streets.

"As the cost of car ownership rises and parking becomes increasingly competitive in neighborhoods, Washingtonians are looking to car sharing as a cost-effective and convenient way to drive a car when they need one," said Angelo Adams, head of Zipcar. "A little-known byproduct of car sharing is that it eliminates personally owned vehicles from city streets, which reduces congestion, carbon emissions and competition for parking on the curb. Who wants the hassle of car payments and to circle the block in DuPont Circle? No one!"

The Impact of Car Sharing in Washington D.C.
Founded in 2000, Zipcar is driven by a mission: to enable simple and responsible urban living by reducing personal car ownership. For over twenty years, Zipcar has supported D.C.'s diverse communities, city livability, and the global environment with socially responsible, sustainable transportation. According to Zipcar's new North American Transportation Survey, car-sharing Washingtonians take the suitable transportation mode (walking, biking, transit, car sharing) for the right trip, saving money and supporting sustainable urban living at a higher rate than the average resident. Of note:

  • Car sharers ditch personal vehicles and eliminate congestion on DC streets. Washington, D.C., has the twentieth most congested streets worldwide, according to INRIX. Those who share cars are not to blame for this unwanted title: 79% of Washington D.C. Zipcar members do not own a vehicle, and 50% postponed buying a vehicle due to Zipcar. If Zipcar were to leave Washington, D.C., members would purchase an estimated 12,000 vehicles or enough vehicles to line the roads from downtown to Frederick, MD.
  • Washington D.C. Shared Fleet Frees Space Equivalent to Seventy Lincoln Memorials and more! Each Zipcar is estimated to replace up to 13 personally owned vehicles in Washington, D.C. With over 500 vehicles, including eco-friendly hybrids and electric vehicles, Zipcar enables over 1.6 million square feet of free space or the spatial equivalent of 49 miles of protected bike lanes, nineteen National Cathedrals, and two and a half Libraries of Congress!

Who are Washington D.C.'s car-sharing citizens?

  • Car-sharing Washingtonians save $6,600 annually on transportation. According to AAA, the annual cost of new car ownership totals a record high of over $10,000. Washington D.C. Zipcar members spend far less annually on total transportation costs than the national average: a Zipcar member's annual household transportation cost totals approximately $2,700, netting a 64% savings that can be used for housing, childcare or leisure, etc.
  • Car Sharing is for all Washingtonians. Of its Washington D.C. membership base, 48% identify as BIPOC, 78% live in multi-family housing, and more than one-third have a household income lower than the national median income of $67,500. Sixty-seven percent of low-income residents reported improved quality of life because of access to Zipcar.
  • Washington D.C. car sharers embrace the "car-free" lifestyle. Washingtonian Zipcar members report walking, riding bikes, taking mass transit and driving Zipcars only when truly needed, embracing environmentally friendly transportation options more than the average resident: approximately 200 walking trips annually, 28 biking trips annually (more than twice the average resident); and 140 transit trips annually (44% more than the average resident).

Zipcar provides 24/7 on-demand, self-service access to vehicles by the hour, day or week in convenient urban, college or business locations with gas or electric charging, insurance options, maintenance and dedicated parking included, making it a more cost-effective and sustainable option than personal car ownership. Standard memberships are $9 a month or $90 a year, with driving rates starting from $12.50/hour and $103/day. For a limited time, the first month of membership is free with the codeĀ MONTHOFF. Learn more at

About the Zipcar North American Transportation Survey
Zipcar-specific data was collected as part of Zipcar's North American Transportation Survey, a sample size of approximately 6,800 respondents in North America, of which 390 identified as Washington D.C. residents. Industry-specific data was made possible by Zipcar's partners at Sam Schwartz Consulting and credible third-party industry leaders.

About Zipcar
Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing network, driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living. With its wide variety of self-service vehicles available by the hour, day or week, Zipcar operates in urban areas and university campuses in hundreds of cities, towns, and universities. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAR), a leading global transportation solutions provider. More information is available at

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