ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Representatives from the company pose at a launch meeting in Istanbul. AA Photo
Zipcar, a U.S.-based car rental company, has entered the Turkish market in cooperation with a prominent auto firm to provide car-sharing services to Istanbulites.
Speaking at a press conference, Massimo Marsili, the firm’s head of European operations, said on April 2 Zipcar was excited to enter the Turkish market.
“We are happy to contribute efforts to ease traffic congestion in Istanbul and to provide an alternative mode of transportation in the city,” Marsili said.
Founded in 2000, the company recently increased its activities in European countries such as the U.K. and Spain.
It offers an hourly car rental system. For a fixed fee, registered customers can pick up - and drop off - vehicles at designated locations in a city. Zipcar provides car insurance and gasoline.
Zipcar entered the Turkish market in cooperation with Otokoc Automotive, which has been providing car rental services for 41 years.
Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city with a population of 15 million, suffers from chronic traffic congestion. A study released recently by Dutch navigation firm TomTom showed the city has the worst traffic congestion in Europe.
“The average 30-minute drive in the city will take over an hour during evening rush hour, leading to an extra 125 hours wasted stuck in traffic every year,” the company said on March 31.
Despite efforts to increase public transportation in the city, traffic congestion has increased due to a rise in car ownership. A car-sharing system can provide an alternative to ownership in efforts to ease traffic jam, according to sector representatives.