Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today announced the launch of a car sharing program that is expected to save the County more than $250,000 in vehicle costs and travel reimbursement during the first year, as well as promote energy efficiency.
County employees can now book Shared Fleet vehicles to conduct daylong business or reserve Zipcars for shorter trips. The Shared Fleet will be housed at three locations—inside a loop garage, at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center and at the Department of Corrections. As the pool car program expands, more vehicles will be added and stationed at other suburban County facilities. Employees will also have access to more than 500 Zipcars located throughout the city.
“With the combined use of the Shared Fleet and Zipcars, our employees will have more efficient access to transportation for business travel,” President Preckwinkle said. “Over time, we’ll achieve energy efficiency by having fewer cars on the road. The program will save taxpayers money and conserve the environment.”
The car-sharing program and integrated fleet will reduce the number of County-owned vehicles, increase the number of cars available to employees and decrease the amount of money spent for mileage reimbursement.
“We applaud President Preckwinkle and Cook County for their commitment to innovation and developing smart transportation solutions that promote sustainability and fiscal responsibility, while helping to create efficiencies,” said Charles Stephens, general manager, Zipcar Chicago. “This new program between Zipcar and Cook County is another great example of smart partnerships, and we look forward to bringing on more departments to help further reduce costs while increasing mobility.
Before the program, most of the County’s passenger vehicles were assigned to various departments and were not being used to maximum efficiency. The Shared Fleet will operate County-wide. Eventually, the fleet will be reduced and accurately sized to the County’s needs.
Shared Fleet vehicles and Zipcars can be reserved online and accessed through swipe cards. The fleet-sharing technology will track how often vehicles are driven, where they are going, and where vehicles need to be moved to meet employee needs. As the number of vehicles in the Shared Fleet grows, employees are expected to rely more on these vehicles.