Beginning on Friday, November 1st, residents and community members will be able to take advantage of two Zipcars located conveniently in downtown South Orange, Village officials announced on Wednesday.
Zipcar, which operates the largest car-sharing service in the world, will be placing two vehicles in downtown South Orange – a Toyota Prius named “Picabo” and a Ford Focus named “Slovak.” The cars can be found across the street from the highly trafficked NJ Transit station in the Firehouse Lot off of Sloan Street and First Street.
South Orange has won numerous awards and certifications for its green initiatives, largely driven by the protection of local natural resources, use of alternative fuels and transportations, eco-friendly redevelopment projects and the promotion of a truly walkable transit-oriented urban suburb.
Village President Alex Torpey, who connected with Zipcar President Mark Norman while both were participating in a panel in Washington, D.C. in September expressed excitement at the addition of this resource to South Orange, and of being able to partner with such a great company like Zipcar.
“This is a big step. Alternative means of transportation are important to our growth as a sustainable transit-oriented community.” President Torpey mentioned that the benefits are not just environmental, but financial, “There are major cost savings car sharing resources present for residents. We have to get out of asking the narrow question “How do we just lower taxes?” and to the better and more impactful question, “How do we lower taxpayers overall cost of living?” If you can give up your car, or second car, because we have car-sharing easily available, we just helped save you upwards of $6,000 a year - a cost cut that no town will ever be able to make in a single year by only looking at property taxes, only 28% of which we have control over anyway.”
On Friday, Village officials, residents, environmental advocates and representatives from Zipcar will gather to cut the ribbon on the new vehicles and celebrate this step forward for South Orange and Zipcar, and what both expect will be a long lasting partnership.
"I had the pleasure of meeting Village President Alex Torpey at an event in Washington DC earlier this year, and he made a compelling case for why South Orange was ready for Zipcar," said Mark Norman, President of Zipcar. "Zipcar's cost effective and convenient service gives residents new options for personal mobility and also fits in nicely with many of the other technology-driven initiatives that Alex and his team have launched to make South Orange a great place to live ."
President Torpey noted that the spaces are rented to Zipcar on an annual basis, and actually brings revenue to the Village, in addition to the benefit of the programs.
More details on Zipcar’s South Orange Program:
Zipcars will be available for reservation 24/7 to all members in our global network ages 21+ living in or traveling to the South Orange area. Zipcar hourly reservations in South Orange start at $12 per hour and $84 per day for drivers on Zipcar’s “Occasional driving” plan. Zipcar also offers low weekday driving rates for businesses that are a part of Zipcar for Business program. Gas, insurance and 180 miles of driving per day are included in the cost of all reservations. For more information on our personal and business membership options please visit www.zipcar.com.