Zipcar and Flexcar, the two largest car-sharing companies in the U.S., plan to merge.
The companies will operate from suburban Boston where Zipcar has its headquarters. Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith will run the merged company.
The merger will combine the operations of the two privately-held companies and create a fleet of 5,500 vehicles with an estimated membership base of about 200,000 people.
“This merger will be a classic example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” Griffith said in a statement. “We believe as a combined company, we will be more effective in making car sharing a mainstream form of transportation in cities throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.”
Zipcar and Flexcar offer car-rental services to members who pay an annual fee and rent vehicles by the hour by making reservations online or via telephone. Members pick up their vehicles at company parking spots, which are located throughout metropolitan areas and college campuses.
Existing members will have access to both Zipcar and Flexcar fleets following the merger with reservations through the Zipcar Web site.
Zipcar operates in New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Flexcar has vehicles in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington and Portland, Ore.