Zipcar Inc., a for-profit car rental firm based in Cambridge, Mass., has replaced local nonprofit PhillyCarShare as the City of Philadelphia's rental car supplier, city and Zipcar officials said. Zipcar "had the lowest price," said Robert Fox, head of the city's Office of Fleet Management.
PhillyCarShare bid $5.90 per hour and 9 cents per mile in its losing offer, same price it offered other large businesses, said deputy executive director Clayton Lane. "We're proud to have partnered with the city," he said, "but it will only have a very modest impact on our business."
The city uses 6 to 10 shared cars a day, said Procurement Commissioner Hugh Ortman. He said the city spent around $35,000 last year with PhillyCarShare, and expects to spend about $30,000 with Zipcar. Zipcar President Mark Norman predicted car use will rise. He praised the city's bidding process as "transparent and open."
Earlier this year, city officials said Philadelphia had been able to get rid of 100 cars after contracting Philly Car Share for occasional use in 2004.
Zipcar said in March the company had 110 cars in the Philadelphia area, compared to 500 at PhillyCarShare. Greylock Partners, of San Mateo, Calif., Benchmark Capital, of Menlo Park, Calif., AOL founder Steve Case's Revolution Living LLC, and other investors have put more than $35 million into Zipcar since 2003. Earlier Zipcar vs Philly Car Share story here.