Enterprise Holdings is shuttering the portion of ride-sharing service Zimride’s business that is open to the general public and will keep operating its university and business accounts only starting February 1.
With the proliferation of on-demand car services such as Uber and Lyft, which created Zimride and sold it to Enterprise in July 2013, as well as services such as Zipcar, there is bound to be an acceleration of the shakeout in the ride-sharing business, and this step back by Zimride reflect these market forces.
This is so even though Uber, Lyft, Curb and others have a totally different business model than ride-sharing services such as Zimride.
Christy Cavallini, a spokesperson for Enterprise, which owns Enterprise, National, Alamo and Zimride, says “we want to focus on our core business and this allows us to do just that.”
Cavallini says Zimride’s Web-based ride-sharing and carpooling network includes more than 130 universities and corporate campuses, and the company will focus on this aspect of the business rather than promoting its services to the general public.
“When we purchased Zimride, one of the things that was attractive to us was the technology and the private university and business ride-matching services that align closely with Enterprise Holdings’ total transportation solution, including local car rental, car sharing vanpooling,” Cavallini says. “This allows us to offer our accounts a total transportation solution. This business continues to grow for us, but we want to focus on our core business.”
While ride-sharing, which enables consumers to contact individual drivers in their own cars for transport, may be attractive in a university setting, it is hard to believe it would gain much traction with corporate accounts.
Since Zimride is a ride-sharing service that uses drivers’ own vehicles, there are no locations being shut or employees being fired because of the downsizing of the service, Cavallini says.
Zimride notified customers of the changed focus in an email yesterday.