BOSTON - The City of Boston is partnering with car sharing company Zipcar, Inc., to launch a new fleet sharing program called FleetHub. Through this program, a number of existing city-owned fleet vehicles will be outfitted with Zipcar's car sharing technology for use by city employees. This program is designed to help the City of Boston improve efficiency, promote sustainability, save money, and modernize its fleet, according to a release from the company.

Through the FleetHub program, the City of Boston has combined vehicles once dedicated to city departments to create an interdepartmental fleet pool. By deploying Zipcar's car sharing platform in these vehicles, as well as implementing Zipcar's self-service online reservation and secure vehicle access system, the City hopes to gain new efficiencies and reduce costs.

The program will also help the City dispose of older, under-utilized vehicles. This will help efforts to modernize the fleet with alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles.

By utilizing Zipcar technology, the City of Boston will be able to design and configure its fleet footprint in real time for optimal utilization; manage hundreds of critical activities including preventive maintenance, fueling, billing, and fleet distribution; analyze usage and diagnostic data, automatically captured during every trip; and utilize Zipcar's analytics to stay on top of trends and in control of its fleet.

The City of Boston selected Zipcar as its fleet technology provider through a competitive bidding process. The program will initially be launched as a six-month pilot, which the City plans to extend to more vehicles following successful implementation.

Zipcar's technology has already been adopted through similar initiatives in Washington, D.C. and the City of Chicago. In 2009, Washington, D.C. became the first city to use the Zipcar technology in its fleet.  D.C. officials estimate the district saves more than $1 million per year using the technology.

In March 2011, the City of Chicago became the first in the country to integrate both the use of Zipcar technology in it existing fleet and Z4B (Zipcar4Business), Zipcar's business transportation solution. The City projected it could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in transportation costs over the next several years, the release from Zipcar stated.