Striving to provide access to mobility options to everyone in Chicago, Zipcar is an influential part of the mobility ecosystem

Founded in 2000, Zipcar is the world’s leading car sharing network, driven by a mission to enable simple and responsible urban living. Zipcar launched in Chicago in 2006, and its Central Region office has lived in the Loop ever since. Of the 500 cities and towns Zipcar operates in, Chicago ranks in the top 6 markets in terms of operational size and productivity. 

Zipcar provides nearly 200,000 Chicagoland members with on-demand access to a diverse fleet of around 400 vehicles in more than 200 locations by the hour or day. 

Zipcar prides itself on actively reducing personally owned vehicles in Chicago — If Zipcar disappeared, an estimated 16,800 vehicles would be purchased and parked on Chicago streets. About 60% of Chicago members report not owning or leasing a vehicle, and more than 27% sold their vehicle after joining Zipcar. 

How does Zipcar work? 

It’s as simple as “join, reserve and drive.” You become a member by signing up online. Once approved, you receive a Zipcard, which is your key to the entire global fleet. Once you’re a member, you can use Zipcar’s mobile app or go online to make a reservation. At the beginning of your reservation, simply tap your Zipcard on the windshield, and the doors unlock. The key is already in the car. At the end of your trip, bring the car back to its designated parking spot. 

Zipcars are available in a number of popular neighborhoods around Chicago with a considerable presence in Hyde Park, Lakeview, Logan Square, The Loop, Edgewater, Ukrainian Village, as well the O’Hare International Airport. Additionally, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, and University of Illinois at Chicago have turned to Zipcar to make car sharing available on and near campuses for students. 

Zipcar Improves Mobility Options in Chicago Through Partnerships 

Zipcar works with the Chicago Transit Authority, the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Park District among other local agencies to maximize public mobility options. The City of Chicago’s partnership with Zipcar has enabled a reduction in the size of the City’s owned fleet, while improving car sharing accessibility for City employees. The City and the Chicago Transit Authority have also partnered with Zipcar to offer parking locations that
complement existing transportation hubs, some located under the EL, in Park ‘n’ Ride lots, or near Divvy stations.

Most Chicago Zipcar members start their trips with a walk (nearly 90%), a ride on the CTA (32%), or a bike ride (9%). Zipcar is just one part of the mobility ecosystem in Chicago, and encourages members to use public transit, walk, or bike whenever possible. In fact, after joining Zipcar, nearly 70% of members use public transit the same or more, 41% bike the same or more and 80% walk the same or more. The average Chicago Ziptrip is 43 miles — meaning members are likely using Zipcar to make trips that couldn’t otherwise be completed with public transit or pedestrian transportation.

Zipcar’s Impact Report captures their leadership over nearly two decades. The report leverages troves of trip level user data, and paired with third-party research, offers tangible proof that round-trip car-sharing continues to offer cities and members significant and distinct benefits, even at a time when other mobility solutions are on the rise. You can read the full report and find more information about Zipcar’s impact here.

The average Chicago Ziptrip is 43 miles — meaning members are likely using Zipcar to make trips that couldn’t otherwise be completed with public transit or pedestrian transportation.

Zipcar strives to improve access to mobility options in Chicago for everyone. Want to see more of Zipcar in your neighborhood? Let them know where! The Zipcar team is always on the lookout for new locations to better serve the Chicago member base.

Zipcar also offers a Zipcar for Business corporate program. This program includes discounted driving rates. Chamber members interested in learning more about the corporate discount program should Contact Brian Foster at or visit