Nov 27, 2023 - News

Zipcar offers discounts to Philadelphia Housing Authority residents

Illustration of two hands passing off a car

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Zipcar is now offering steep membership discounts and vehicles exclusively for Philadelphia Housing Authority residents.

Why it matters: Studies show access to reliable and affordable transportation is key to health equity and socioeconomic success.

State of play: Short-term car rental company Zipcar is providing eight cars at four PHA housing complexes that are available on-demand daily for the agency's 80,000 low-income residents.

  • The partnership with PHA, the nation's fourth largest housing authority, is funded by Zipcar and launched last week.

Zoom out: Zipcar has similar partnerships with other housing authorities, including in New York City.

How it works: PHA residents get a free membership for the first year, then $15 annually after that. (That's down from $90 a year for a typical membership.)

  • It includes 180 free miles per day (.58 cents per mile after that), free gas, secondary insurance and roadside service.
  • The hourly rate is not discounted ($11+).
  • The eight car-sharing vehicles will have two dedicated on-street parking spots at John F. Street Community Center, Lucien Blackwell Community Center, Vaux Community Building and Wilson Park Apartments.

What they're saying: Tafari Nobles-EL, a PHA resident, tells Axios the hourly rate to use the cars could remain a barrier for PHA residents.

  • "Maybe that's something they can fix in the future," he said.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to note the partnership is funded by Zipcar, not through a federal grant.

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