Enterprise Rent-A-Car just launched its WeCar vehicle sharing program. The national program is based on a similar concept pioneered by Zipcar (short rentals, web reservations, local pickups/drop off), but makes use of the huge Enterprise fleet and thousands of neighborhood locations. The WeCar fleet is populated by hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles, but there's a catch; your employer or school must be a member of the program before you can make a reservation.
With more people car pooling and using public transit to get to work or college, WeCar provides an alternative to driving a personal vehicle because of mid-day needs such as off-site meetings or appointments.
"Car sharing provides a convenient, cost-effective way to have a car when you need one during the day," said Jeff Parell, senior vice president, Enterprise. "Our WeCar program can be customized to fit the unique needs of any of our partners, including businesses, government agencies, and universities. So, it gives employees or students the flexibility to attend off-site business meetings, visit customers or vendors or run personal errands."
Enterprise launched WeCar at Washington University in St. Louis, offering a fleet of hybrids available for hourly rental by faculty, staff and students. Since then, Enterprise has begun partnering with new customers such as Recreational Equipment, Inc., (REI) in Kent, Wash.
"In calculating the company's environmental footprint, employee commuting was a significant percentage of our overall impact on the planet," said Kevin Hagen, REI's director of Corporate Social Responsibility. "Our partnership with WeCar and Enterprise has provided us a solution we're piloting to help remove one of the barriers to alternative commuting our employees face."
WeCar car sharing is convenient and affordable. After enrolling in the program, members can reserve a vehicle online for all transportation needs - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cars are strategically placed in designated, easy-to-find parking spaces where they can be accessed electronically. The technology behind WeCar makes reserving and using the vehicles fast and easy, with no paperwork.
"The concept of car sharing is a smart one, especially from an environmental perspective. A lot of us on campus are excited about having convenient and economical access to a car - particularly a hybrid - when we need it," said Stephanie Kurtzman, director of the Community Service Office at Washington University in St. Louis.