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Monday, April 09, 2007

Zipcar Speeds to Commercial Drive

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar, the world's largest car sharing company, today launched service in Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is Zipcar's largest market launch to date, with 100 cars hitting the streets of Vancouver immediately to help ease the pains of parking and traffic congestion and provide an affordable transportation alternative to the city's 600,000 urban residents.
Zipcar became the first North American car sharing company to go international when it launched Zipcar-Canada in Toronto, Ontario during the summer of 2006. It then launched its first overseas market in November 2006 with the opening of its London operations. With expansion to Vancouver, Zipcar now operates in the neighborhoods of nearly 23 million people, further opening up car sharing to a mainstream, urban population.

"Vancouver is a world-class city with great potential for our business. That is why we are commencing operations with our largest initial fleet to- date in Vancouver," said Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith. "With recent upgrades to our proprietary web reservation and back-end management systems, we are well prepared to deliver superior service to our global membership base."

With Zipcar, Vancouver individuals and businesses seeking an alternative to the hassles and high costs of car ownership now have more viable transportation options. Recent studies by Zipcar indicate that members drive less and are more likely to walk, bike, and use of public transportation. Environmental benefits include an 80% decrease in vehicle kilometers driven per year by Zipcar members, thus reducing gas and emissions from going into the atmosphere. Additionally, Zipcar members report an average savings of more than $435 (approx. $500 CAD) per month compared to the costs of owning and operating a private car. With an average of 40% of Zipcar members getting rid of their vehicles or deciding not to purchase one, each Zipcar in Vancouver is expected to take 15-20 privately owned vehicles off the streets, significantly decreasing parking issues and traffic congestion.

Beginning today, Zipcar will place 100 vehicles in many locations throughout the Downtown, Kitsilano, Fairview, Commercial Drive and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods of Vancouver. Zipcars' industry leading selection of 11 makes and models of vehicles in Vancouver will range from standard sedans to small SUV's and luxury vehicles.

Worldwide, Zipcar continues to see 100%+ annual increases in members and vehicles and became the first car sharing service in North America to attain profitability in all of its established markets. Zipcar has the largest active membership base of any car sharing service, with more than 90,000 members and 2,500 vehicles.

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