Do You Need A Ride Mr. Bush?WASHINGTON--Sept. 30, 2005--In an effort to help White House staff answer the President's call to drive less and carpool and ride public transit more, Flexcar has introduced the first White House shared car. Conveniently located a few hundred yards from the West Wing, in a reserved Flexcar parking spot, the Honda Civic Hybrid -- nicknamed "Flexcar One," in honor of its potential users -- is available for White House staff to use for meetings or other trips. Having on-demand access to a car will allow them to commute to work via transit or carpool yet still have access to a car during the day.
In a letter to the President, Flexcar has offered to provide their first hour of use free of charge, as well as add more cars if needed -- even deploy a Flexcar vehicle on White House grounds, if the White House so requests.
"The President has asked his staff and all Americans to do their part to reduce consumption of fuel and energy," said Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, and now the majority owner of Flexcar. "Flexcar makes it easy for people to ride transit or carpool. With our numerous and convenient locations, you're never more than a few blocks and a click of the mouse away from having access to a car when you need one," Case added.
Members reserve Flexcar vehicles via the Internet or phone for about $8 an hour -- a fee that includes gas, parking and insurance. Studies have shown that Flexcar members drive less, ride transit more and sell or avoid buying a vehicle -- all facts that are in line with the President's directive.
More than 7,000 other area Flexcar members already have on-demand access to more than 120 Flexcar vehicles conveniently located near their offices and homes in the DC metro area. With gas prices topping $3 a gallon, Flexcar has seen a tremendous spike in interest in its program. Flexcar has added nearly 20 new cars to the fleet in the past few weeks, and even more are on the way.
Among the many benefits of Flexcar's program are:
-- Members Don't Pay for Gas, Insurance, Parking: Flexcar rentals include gas, insurance, and a prime parking place. Members pay an hourly usage charge -- usually about $8 an hour -- and that covers everything. Members don't pay a day-long rental rate when they only need a car for a few hours -- they pay only for the trip.
-- A "Green" Choice: Car-sharing is proven to reduce congestion and auto emissions, making it an environmentally-sound choice. Flexcar goes the next step, by offering a fleet that consists largely of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles.
-- Convenient and Hassle-Free: Unlike car rental companies with a handful of locations at often inconvenient airport sites, Flexcar's vehicles are parked near members' offices and homes. And there's no waiting in line at counters to use a vehicle -- members reserve online, go straight to the car, use their personalized Flexcard to unlock the vehicle, and then just drive away.
Since launching the U.S. car-sharing industry in 1998, Flexcar has won numerous awards and commendations for reducing congestion, air pollution and energy use, and increasing use of public transit while contributing to sustainable communities. Research from Flexcar as well as independent entities has clearly shown that car-sharing programs take cars off the road, reduce annual miles traveled and increase the use of public transit. These studies indicate that roughly 60 percent of members have either sold or decided not to purchase a vehicle because of the program, thus removing thousands of vehicles and thousands of tons of emissions from circulation.
More information on Flexcar's DC Metro operation is available at www.flexcar.com or by calling 202-296-1359.
Flexcar founded the U.S. car-sharing industry and now operates car-sharing programs for more than 30,000 members in six metropolitan areas, covering 37 cities in 5 states and the District of Columbia. With flexible pricing plans, members can reserve and drive any of these cars whenever and wherever they need to, without filling out complicated paperwork, paying for insurance, gas or repairs. Flexcar Business Memberships enable companies to augment or replace their fleet with Flexcar vehicles. Flexcar's fleet includes sedans, gas-electric hybrids, and specialty vehicles including pickups, AWD, minivans and convertibles. AOL Founder Steve Case and auto industry legend Lee Iacocca are investors/owners of Flexcar.
Editor's Note: Correct spelling and punctuation of name is "Flexcar" (not Flex-car FlexCar, Flexicar or Flex Car).