For $8.25 an hour, employees of the City of Atlanta and other companies can participate in Zipcar's car-sharing program. The idea is to have people ride public transportation to work -- the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transportation Authority (MARTA) rail system is quite effective -- and then do a short-term car rental to run errands or go to meetings. They offer over 20 different cars to choose from including the Toyota Prius
, a MINI and a Volkswagen Jetta
. Zipcar and the Kendeda Foundation will pay for the $25 Zipcar memberships for all City of Atlanta employees, and any Atlanta-based organization that joins the program before January 1 will have its application fees paid by Zipcar, Midtown Transportation Solutions and the Downtown Transportation Management Association. Similar programs are offered in Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., London and other cities. Zipcar, which boasts 250,000 members, employs vehicles from most manufacturers. The cost of this program is less than Daimler's pilot program with Smart cars, but Daimler allows rentals as short as four minutes. Visit Zipcar.com for more information.