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Transportation Systems

Car sharing just got a whole lot bigger

connect

Car sharing is becoming a much more popular way of having a car in the city. People are trading in the maintenance and costs of being an occasional driver for the convenience of having access to a car when they need it and letting someone else or some other company worry about it when they don’t.

“Carsharing is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour. They are attractive to customers who make only occasional use of a vehicle, as well as others who would like occasional access to a vehicle of a different type than they use day-to-day.” From Wiki

There have been a couple companies that have offered this service till now; Zipcar, Autoshare, CommunAuto, StattAuto, and others. Up until this point Car sharing has been considered a bit of a fringe industry with most people turning up their noses at the idea of ‘sharing a car.’ That is likely to change as a number of major car companies have started eyeing car sharing as a way to find profit in times that have been less then kind to the Car companies.

The Hertz Corporation which is considered to be the worlds largest general use rental company recently announced that it has decided to get into the car sharing business as a method of increasing revenue and activity at its non airport locations in particular.  The company has termed the new division ‘Connect by Hertz ‘ and will be the first global car sharing organisation. You could join in Toronto but still have access to a car share in Atlanta.

“Hertz’s vision is to offer total mobility solutions and car sharing is a logical step for the Company. In line with Hertz’s long term growth plans, Connect by Hertz supports Hertz’s diversified business model by providing best-in-class transportation solutions across the spectrum of customer needs,” commented Mark P. Frissora, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Hertz Corporation. “In addition to being environmentally friendly, Connect by Hertz cars can save members thousands of dollars a year in vehicle ownership costs and, by leveraging Hertz’s established infrastructure, we’re the first major car rental company to be able to offer members the first global car sharing program. With aggressive plans for expansion, Connect by Hertz has all the elements to become a successful and profitable part of Hertz.” S

No matter what your opinion on Hertz,  the company’s entry into an industry that has up till now  been dominated by small environmentally conscious co-ops and independent operators signals that the car sharing business is moving from a fringe service to the mainstream.

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