Car share adds bike racks, NY Park Empire Passports

Zipcar, the world’s leading car-sharing network, has announced a new program to outfit 20 SUVs in its New York City fleet with Yakima bicycle racks and Empire Passport permits to New York State Parks. This new program comes as part of Zipcar’s partnership with Bike New York, and gives New Yorkers greater access to enjoy their bikes outside of the city – whether to train for upcoming bicycle races and tours or simply enjoy the area’s scenic beaches and parks.

Fifteen of the 20 Ford Escape vehicles outfitted with the racks will be located in Manhattan, while the other five will be located in Brooklyn. In addition to the new bike racks, the vehicles will also offer Empire Passports, giving Zipcar members complimentary access to more than 50 New York State Parks including the Jones Beach State Park on Long Island, Niagara Falls State Park and Allegany State Park.

New Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey was excited about the deal. “New York State Parks offer endless opportunities for biking, hiking, paddling or just spending the day at the beach. It’s great that an innovative company like Zipcar recognizes that the Empire Passport is a great way to launch exciting adventures at so many State Parks just down the road,” said Harvey.

Studies have shown that carshare members walk, bike and use public transportation more since joining a car sharing program. According to a Frost & Sullivan report, on average in North America, each carshare car replaces 15 cars on the road. Because vehicle miles traveled per driver is reduced almost 50 percent when car owners switch to car sharing, the change reduces CO2 emissions and resulted in 482,000 fewer tons emitted in 2009 alone.

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