Early next year, the city's Department of Transportation will begin experimenting with a Zipcar-style car pooling system, with workers sharing vehicles that will be made available to the general public during nights and weekends. The Times slyly notes that "while the prospect of driving the same car as a high-ranking public servant may scintillate some, officials said their priority was to lower costs and shrink the city’s Sasquatch-size carbon footprint."
A similar program has been very successful in DC and Philadelphia, where for the past four years the city has saved more than $600,000 in maintenance costs by taking 140 vehicles out of its municipal car fleet. In Washington, the car fleet was cut by 80% through the share plan, and the man in charge of the program tells the Times, "It’s actually more cost-effective for me to rent the vehicle by the hour as opposed to owning it and having it on my books."
It's unclear what vehicles the city will use, but according to a DOT spokesman they'll probably be hybrids and SUVs: "We’re not interested in the sporty vehicles. We’re interested in vehicles that get the job done." And the DOT's pilot program will last at least a year before officials decide whether to expand the service to other city agencies.