Recently, Zipcar announced the results of its fourth annual "Low-Car Diet" challenge, during which 30 participants across the U.S. and Canada pledged to ditch their personally-owned vehicles for 30 days. Inspired to engage in alternative transport methods, the participants found new ways to get around (see the numbers above) while limiting their combined use of a personal motor vehicle to just 126 rides in a Zipcar.
Scott Griffith, chairman and chief executive officer of Zipcar, summed up the results of the 2011 Low-Car Diet:
It's been similar in previous years, but you don't need to wait for Zipcar to challenge you to give the low-car lifestyle a try.This year's challengers demonstrated that life without car ownership is better for the wallet, the waistline and even the world.
Challengers Prove Car Sharing Provides Financial, Health and Environmental Benefits; Team Vancouver Selected as Best Embodying the Low-Car Lifestyle
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zipcar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIP), the world's leading car-sharing network, today announced the results of the company's fourth annual Low-Car Diet challenge, during which more than 30 participants across the U.S. and Canada pledged to give up their personally-owned vehicles for 30 days. Inspired to engage in alternative transportation methods, the participants estimate they walked more than 2,250 miles, biked almost 4,200 miles, took 1,175 trips on public transit, and lost nearly 165 pounds combined, all while limiting their combined car use to just 126 rides in a Zipcar.
Zipcar selected three participants per city who formed "teams" and chronicled their experiences through video and blog posts on Zipcar's Low-Car Diet website. At the end of the challenge, friends, family, fans and other Zipsters were invited to visit the site and vote on the team that best embodied the Low-Car Diet lifestyle. Team Vancouver – made up of Brad Tollefsen, Ian Dawkins and Shawna Perry – were chosen as the winning Low-Car Dieters who best exemplified the Zipcar mission, and took home the grand prize, receiving custom-made New Balance sneakers, a Jabra gift-pack containing an assortment of hands-free devices, and a year supply of snacks and beverages from popchips™, Honest Tea and Zevia® All Natural Soda.
"This year's challengers demonstrated that life without car ownership is better for the wallet, the waistline and even the world," said Scott Griffith, chairman and CEO of Zipcar. "Congratulations to the Vancouver team as well as the rest of the participants. I hope their example will inspire others to consider trying their own challenge, whether it be for a day, a month or more. Zipcar will always be there with wheels when you want them."
As Zipcar's Low-Car Diet challenge wrapped up, participants reflected upon their experiences and the benefits they derived from living a low-car lifestyle.
"I had a blast participating in the Low-Car Diet. It was so simple to use public transit, my bike and Zipcar, and I definitely will not have a personal vehicle going forward. I'm really glad I got to share this experience with others over the course of the challenge and really hope they will be able to take from it and give the low-car lifestyle a try," said Shawna Perry, a 2011 participant from Vancouver. "I'm thrilled Team Vancouver won, as we worked really hard during the challenge and rallied really hard for the votes. I would encourage anyone to take the Low-Car Diet challenge, as it was so worth it!"
"It felt really good to be car-free. Not only was I helping the environment by getting another car off the road, but most importantly I didn't have to drive and park in the city," said Rachael Kennedy, a 2011 participant from Philadelphia. "I absolutely loved using Zipcar. It inspired me to look at transportation differently. I realized how much I take for granted when I hop in my car and drive a few blocks away just to run errands, when a quick bike ride or walk would be just as easy."
National studies have shown that each car shared takes 15 privately owned vehicles off the road, and vehicle miles traveled per driver are reduced almost 50 percent when car owners switch to car sharing – which means less road congestion, pollution, dependence on oil and overall cleaner, fresher air to breathe.
For more information on Zipcar's Low-Car Diet challenge and to view the video compilations from this year's participants, please visit www.zipcar.com/lowcardiet/.
Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing service with more than 605,000 members and over 9,000 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car. More information is available at www.zipcar.com.