If you are a major car-rental company, you have to be into car-sharing these days. Enterprise's acquisition of Zimride doesn't involve any vehicle assets, but Enterprise has previously bought car-sharing operations and vehicles.
Founded in 2007, Zimride links passengers and drivers to car- and van-pooling opportunities. San Francisco-based Lyft Inc. is retaining its smartphone-based ride-sharing assets and peer-to-peer transportation community, the companies said in a statement.
Terms of the sale, which closed July 10, were not disclosed. No vehicles are included in the sale.
Clayton-based Enterprise, whose brands include Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental, said Zimride customers will be able to use the service as they do currently.
Visitors to Zimride.com can type in their location, and where and when they want to go to find a car or van going the same way. If no rides are available, users can post a request or the availability of a ride. Colleges and business pay annual license fees, and users don’t pay a fee for using the program.
“It’s like a high tech message board,” said Ryan Johnson, assistant vice president overseeing Enterprise CarShare and Rideshare operations. “It allows people who have chosen to live a car-free lifestyle or those who are less reliant on cars to get where they want to go. It’s an online fulfillment source that’s a less expensive way to get from point A to point B.”
Zimride customers will also be able to link to Enterprise’s Rideshare, a vanpool and commuting service for individuals and businesses, and Enterprise CarShare operations.
Enterprise has made several sizable investments in car sharing in recent years, including its purchase of Chicago-based IGO Car Sharing in May; PhillyCarShare in Philadelphia in 2011 and Mint Cars On-Demand in New York and Boston last year. ___
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