Cision PR Newswire

In Honor of Globally Recognized "Car-Free Day," Zipcar Releases New Data about the Impact of Car Sharing on Traffic and Parking Competition in Chicago

Car-sharing Chicagoans save over $6,000 on transportation and free city space equivalent of Millennium Park

CHICAGO, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- September 22 marks the worldwide initiative "Car-Free Day," which encourages motorists to take a break from driving and explore environmentally-friendly options like mass transit, biking, scooters and walking. According to a new survey from Zipcar, the world's leading car-sharing company, a segment of Chicagoans, those who share a car (compared to personal car owners), significantly contribute to the environmental and social health of Chicago by eliminating additional cars, traffic, parking competition and carbon emissions from the city. In fact, 30% of Zipcar members in Chicago ditched their personal car after joining Zipcar, eliminating an estimated 10,000 vehicles from Chicago's streets.

"As the cost of car ownership rises and parking becomes increasingly competitive in neighborhoods, Chicagoans are looking to car sharing as a cost-effective and convenient way to drive a car when they need one," said Angelo Adams, head of Zipcar. "A little-known byproduct of car sharing is that it eliminates personally owned vehicles from city streets, which reduces congestion, carbon emissions and competition for parking on the curb. Who wants the hassle of car payments and to circle the block in Magnificent Mile or The Loop? No one!"

The Impact of Car Sharing in Chicago 
Founded in 2000, Zipcar is driven by a mission: to enable simple and responsible urban living by reducing personal car ownership. For over twenty years, Zipcar has supported Chicago's diverse communities, city livability, and the global environment with socially responsible, sustainable transportation. According to Zipcar's new North American Transportation Survey, car-sharing Chicagoans take the suitable transportation mode (walking, biking, transit, car sharing) for the right trip, saving money and supporting sustainable urban living at a higher rate than the average resident. Of note:

  • Car sharers eliminate congestion on Chicago's streets. Chicago has the second most congested streets worldwide, according to INRIX. Those who share cars are not to blame for this unwanted title: 84% of Chicago Zipcar members do not own a vehicle, and 50% postponed buying a vehicle due to Zipcar. If Zipcar were to leave Chicago, members would purchase an estimated 15,000 vehicles or enough to line the roads from downtown Chicago to the Wisconsin state line.
  • Zipcar fleet frees space equivalent to 72 North Avenue beaches and more! Each Zipcar is estimated to replace up to 13 vehicles in Chicago. With a fleet of over 500 vehicles, including eco-friendly hybrids and electric vehicles, Zipcar enables over 37 acres of free space, or the spatial equivalent of 49 miles of protected bike lanes, six Art Institutes of Chicago, or one and a half times the size of Millenium Park.

Who are Chicago's car-sharing citizens?

  • Car sharing saves Chicago members approximately $6,200 Annually. According to AAA, the annual cost of new car ownership totals a record high of over $10,000. Chicago Zipcar members spend far less annually on total transportation costs than the national average: the average Chicago resident's annual household transportation cost totals approximately $9,840, whereas a Zipcar member's annual household transportation cost totals roughly $3,600, netting more than 60% savings that can be used for housing, childcare or leisure, etc.
  • Car Sharing is for all Chicagoans. Of its Chicago membership base, 46% identify as BIPOC, nearly one-third identify as a student, 92% live in multi-family housing, and 45% have a household income lower than the national median income of $67,500. Fifty-five percent of low-income residents reported improved access to opportunities (e.g., errands, jobs, visiting friends and family) because of access to Zipcar.
  • Chicago car sharers embrace the "car-free" lifestyle. Chicago Zipcar members report walking, riding bikes, taking mass transit, and driving Zipcars only when truly needed, embracing environmentally-friendly transportation options more than the average resident: 216 walking trips annually (17% more than the average resident), 36 biking trips annually (259% more than the average resident, 33% more than New York members); and, 143 transit trips annually (74% more than the average resident).

Zipcar provides 24/7 on-demand, self-service access to vehicles by the hour, day or week in convenient urban, college or business locations with gas or electric charging, insurance options, maintenance and dedicated parking included, making it a more cost-effective and sustainable option than personal car ownership. Standard memberships are $9 a month or $90 a year, with driving rates starting from $12.50/hour and $103/day. For a limited time, the first month of membership is free with the code MONTHOFF. Learn more at

About the Zipcar North American Transportation Survey
Zipcar-specific data was collected as part of Zipcar's North American Transportation Survey, a sample size of approximately 6,800 respondents in North America, of which 566 identified as Chicagoans. Industry-specific data was made possible by Zipcar's partners at Sam Schwartz Consulting and credible third-party industry leaders.

About Zipcar 
Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing network, driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living. With its wide variety of self-service vehicles available by the hour, day or week, Zipcar operates in urban areas and university campuses in hundreds of cities, towns, and universities. Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAR), a leading global transportation solutions provider. More information is available at

Cision View original content to download multimedia:


NOTE: This content is not written by or endorsed by "WSPA", its advertisers, or Nexstar Media Inc.

For inquiries or corrections to Press Releases, please reach out to Cision.