Image Credit: Enterprise Holdings
Vanpool adopts a Lyft and Uber business model for itself
Ride-sharing companies started the year enjoying the sizable chunk they took out of the car rental market. But with the top car rental companies in North America still recording higher profits than usual, ride-sharing impact was minimal. Still, most companies are quite aware that it’s only a matter of time before the likes of Lyft and Uber become even bigger threats, meaning established vehicle rental firms will need to be even more creative to stay competitive.
Enter Enterprise Vanpool, which tears a page out of the ride-sharing business model by creating a similar service under its own umbrella. Formerly dubbed Enterprise Rideshare, Vanpool is designed as a low-cost option for commuters that also reduces harmful discharges into the atmosphere and even makes the Enterprise books look better.
“Vanpooling can help workers reduce both the financial cost and time lost during their commute to and from work,” said Mike Mangan, Vice President for Commute with Enterprise. “Plus, they arrive at work less stressed, which leads to higher productivity.”
Here’s how the plan is supposed to work from a user perspective. A group of work colleagues get together to split the rental of an Enterprise SUV or van, which for the most part features GPS, satellite radio and even Wi-Fi amenities. The group then works out a schedule and route to and from their day job that’s equitable for everyone.
Drivers will also rotate their turns at the wheel, while everyone else takes advantage of the vehicle’s features to catch up on some work or organize for the next day. The more workers involved, the cheaper the rent per person, and the fewer number of vehicles responsible for emissions on the road.
Vanpooling could be the answer to commuting costs affecting co-workers who would otherwise have to pay exorbitant fuel and parking costs. It’s a plight affecting cities in Washington D.C., New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago, the five most expensive cities in the U.S. for commuting.
Using data from the U.S. Department of Transportation and plotting in where vanpooling would be an advantage to customers, Enterprise estimated that with 11,100 Vanpools in 45 states, 1.4 billion commuter miles and 65,000 cars would be annually eliminated from the equation. Furthermore, the plan is designed to reduce carbon emissions by more than a billion pounds each year.
The company also claims vanpooling reduces commuter stress, which will increase employee productivity every day once they reach the office.
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