SOMERVILLE, MA – The City of Somerville has expanded its partnership with Zipcar, North America’s largest car sharing company, to provide more area residents and businesses with a cost-effective and greener alternative to car ownership. As a result of Somerville’s landmark support for car sharing, including making new parking spaces available to Zipcar and its members, Zipcar has pledged to double its fleet in the Somerville area over the next 12 months, bringing even greater environmental and economic benefits to the community.

City of Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone stated that expanding the partnership with Zipcar to take more privately-owned vehicles off the roads provides a valuable service to thousands of residents and businesses in Somerville and nearby communities. “Somerville is the most densely-populated community in New England, and we have more cars in the city than available parking spaces. As a result, we are constantly seeking creative solutions to the parking challenge,” Curtatone. “Working with Zipcar has been a truly successful and beneficial partnership.”

As part of this partnership, Zipcar will immediately add six new vehicles to its current fleet of 27 Zipcars located throughout Somerville, open new locations in Magoun Square, and introduce new vehicles in Davis Square, East Somerville, and Conway Park. The company also plans to bring dozens of new vehicles to new and existing locations throughout area neighborhoods. The expansion will create important economic and environmental benefits for the local community by taking a significant number of privately-owned vehicles off the road, reducing transportation costs and greenhouse emissions, and improving parking capacity.

Recent studies by Zipcar and other government transportation agencies indicate that each Zipcar takes more than 20 privately-owned vehicles off the road. To date, it is estimated that Zipcar’s service has removed nearly 500 vehicles from Somerville’s streets and has saved residents and businesses $5 million in transportation costs over the past 12 months.

Nationally, Zipcar estimates it has taken more than 25,000 vehicles off the road. Zipcar members also report they drive less each year compared to owning a vehicle and increase usage of public transportation resources by over 47 percent. On average, members state they save $436/month or $5,232/year using Zipcar.

The partnership with the City of Somerville to expand the local Zipcar fleet follows the recent announcement that GE Commercial Finance Services has greenlighted $20 million in vehicle lease financing, supporting Zipcar’s growth and enabling Zipcar to source and rollout new vehicles more quickly and cost-effectively. Zipcar also recently launched service in Chicago as well as Toronto, Canada, the company’s first venture into markets outside the United States.