Zipcar to merge with its competitor

GW students can expect to see more cars with green Zipcar logos on campus next semester as the company is merging with Flexcar.

The hourly car rental companies merged under the name Zipcar Oct. 31 and the company is looking to bring more cars to GW, said Ellice Perez, D.C. regional vice president for Zipcar.

“There absolutely will be more cars for GW,” Perez said. “We’ll be converting many of the Flexcars to Zipcar technology and bringing them under the brand name.”

Perez said the former Flexcar vehicles will be ready for use by Zipcar in mid-January or February.

“We work very closely with GW,” said Perez, who received her MBA from GW’s School of Business. “GW is very near to our hearts.”

Zipcar has partnerships with more than 70 universities across the country. The company offers GW students, faculty and staff a $25 membership fee in lieu of the standard $75 charge. Renting a Zipcar on campus costs $9 per hour and $65 per day.

GW did not have a previous relationship with Flexcar, said Nancy Haaga, managing director of Campus Support Services. Haaga said she does not expect the merger to have significant implications for GW’s standing partnership with Zipcar.

“The Zipcar/Flexcar merger will not directly impact Zipcar’s relationship with GW,” she said. “One major benefit is that Zipcar members will now enjoy access to more vehicles that were once Flexcars throughout D.C.”

Adam Johnson, regional marketing manager of Zipcar in D.C., said Zipcar and GW work together to attain goals for the University.

“GW has a unique contract through Zipcar’s local office whereby we are given assistance marketing the program on campus and parking for vehicles,” Johnson wrote in an e-mail. “GW’s goals are easing the parking burden on campus and greening the campus.”

In January, Zipcar expanded their service at GW from students 21 and over to students 18 and up. GW is negotiations with Zipcar to add a fourth car to its three-car fleet for students 18 to 20 years old, Haaga said.

The number of Zipcars across the country will increase greatly on a national scale as a result of the merger with Flexcar.

“Zipcar members will now enjoy access to more vehicles throughout D.C. as well as in new Zipcar cities, which will include Seattle, Portland, Southern California, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and others,” Johnson said.

Flexcar, which was based in Seattle, will relocate to the new Zipcar headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

-Andrew Ramonas contributed to this report.

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