Travel: Transportation Nation

By Christine Cyr

Road-trippers’ alert: It’s getting easier to rent a hybrid while on the road in America. For frequent travelers, a car-sharing membership makes more sense than ever now that Zipcar and Flexcar, the two largest US car-sharing companies, have merged. By April, a membership will give you access to 550 Priuses, hybrid Honda Civics, and Ford Escapes (as well as 5,000 fuel-efficient conventional autos) in 50 US cities as well as Toronto, Vancouver, and London. Members of the service (which will use the Zipcar name) pay a $50 annual fee to then rent a car for only the hours they need, with rates starting at $10 per hour or $65 per day on weekdays (rates are higher on weekends). Traditional car-rental companies are also answering customer demand for less gas-guzzling by including more hybrids in their fleets. Hertz just added 2,500 Priuses to its Green Collection; Enterprise now has nearly 4,000 Priuses, Camrys, Ford Escapes, and Saturn Vue Green Line hybrids; and Avis and Budget combined have 2,500 hybrids available across the country. Here’s to a gentler vacation footprint this spring and summer.                             

—Christine Cyr

Issue 25

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