The Road to Going Green » KDMC Workshops

Zipcar founder's bold new idea for transportation's future

Robin Chase founded Zipcar, the the world's largest car-sharing company that's flourished in urban centers. She now wants the government to harness wireless technologies to track the number of miles Americans drive, and tax people accordingly.

Chase says the economics of Zipcar--paying up to $9 per hour and $65 per day to rent a car--forces people to think hard about their transportation choices.

She said Zipcar users travel an average of 500 miles per year compared to the 12,000 miles Americans typically travel, a fact that has a major impact on carbon dioxide emissions.

In a March 2007 TED talk, Chase laid out the details of her vision. She said if Americans are forced to pay by the miles they drive, they'll drive less; that ride-sharing will become commonplace and will foster a new social culture; and drastic greenhouse gas reductions will be achieved.

Check out her talk, explore the issue, and join the discussion on Facebook.

Berkeley students react to Chase's idea

Highway miles driven in the US

Americans are driving more and more...

*From US Dept. of Transportation statistics

The rise of driving vs. transit

...while the use of public transit has remained flat.

*From US Dept. of Transportation statistics

Explore: Gas prices and fuel consumption around the world

View full map

*From the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


Other resources

Knight Digital Media Center
About this Project