Lanier Announces Partnership with Flexcar; Membership Means More Atlantans will Leave their Cars at Home
Flexcar, which already boasts 35,000 members, mainly in West Coast cities, Chicago and Washington, D.C., enables people to have the freedom of car ownership without the cost and hassles. Lanier sought out Seattle-based Flexcar to bring the service to Atlanta. Lanier has aggressively embraced innovative transportation matters, including the Atlanta Streetcar project.
“As the economic center of the South, Atlanta represents an exciting opportunity for our company”
"People are moving into the city at an extraordinary rate placing us on the brink of unprecedented growth. The city's population is expected to increase by more than 160,000 people over the next 20 years," said Michael Robison, Lanier's founder and CEO. "Atlanta Streetcar, the Beltline, the explosion of positive activity in Buckhead, and other strategic projects will serve to further increase the city's attractiveness and desirability. Thousands of new homes have been constructed in the heart of our city. Flexcar and Lanier will build on the successes we've seen in other cities by leveraging Atlanta's surge of residential development."
"Atlanta has reached a 'tipping point.' The Atlanta lifestyle has become more and more cosmopolitan and consumer needs have become more sophisticated," continued Robison. "We decided to seek out an innovative partner who would be a good fit in Atlanta. Flexcar is that company."
Flexcar officials, including new CEO Mark Norman, were at Lanier's Atlanta headquarters Tuesday finalizing details of the partnership. Norman served as chairman, president and CEO of DaimlerChrysler, Canada, before joining Flexcar.
"As the economic center of the South, Atlanta represents an exciting opportunity for our company," said Norman. "Any time you launch a new market, you look for strong partnerships. Lanier has been a powerful advocate for Flexcar in Atlanta and has been instrumental in getting us to where we are today. We look forward to continuing our partnership at a national level, since Lanier has more than 100,000 locations nationwide."
"We've got a great first customer in Emory University. A number of other partnerships and customers are underway and we'll be making announcements about them in the coming weeks," said Norman. There are already six Flexcars on the Emory University campus.
Flexcar members simply reserve a car online at (www.flexcar.com), which shows a map of where the cars are parked and a real-time display of their availability. Gas, insurance, parking, unlimited mileage and 24/7 emergency service are included in the $9 per hour charge. It's as little as $7.30 per hour if you commit to a certain number of hours. There's a $35 one-time application fee, then a recurring $40 membership fee per year.
Any Flexcar member may reserve and use those cars. Drivers must return the cars to their original parking space when they're finished driving them.
Flexcar is a portfolio company of Revolution Living, itself a division of investment firm Revolution, LLC, founded by AOL co-founder Steve Case.
Acknowledging the irony of a parking company supporting alternative transportation, Robison says focusing entirely on collecting parking fees is shortsighted.
"We're about growing the entire pie," Robison said. "If traffic gridlock chokes off Atlanta's growth, nobody wins." Robison says the locations of the cars will not be restricted to Lanier lots, but will be in decks, surface lots and college campuses all over the city.
Founded in 1989 Lanier has grown into Georgia's largest parking and transportation management company, controlling more than $10 billion worth of commercial real estate at over 300 properties in 35 cities across the United States. Lanier is a leading innovator in alternative transportation, operating shuttles at college campuses and major airports.
Michael Robison is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Lanier and is chairman of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Robison serves in the same capacity for Atlanta Streetcar, Inc., a non-profit organization that successfully encouraged the City of Atlanta to explore the restoration of electric streetcars along Peachtree.
Flexcar founded the U.S. car-sharing industry and now operates car-sharing programs for about 35,000 members in eight metropolitan areas, covering nearly 40 cities in seven states and the District of Columbia. With flexible pricing plans, members can reserve and drive any of these cars whenever and wherever they need to, without filling out complicated paperwork, paying for insurance, gas or repairs. Flexcar Business Memberships enable companies to augment or replace their fleet with Flexcar vehicles. Flexcar's fleet includes sedans, gas-electric hybrids, and specialty vehicles including pickups, AWD, minivans and convertibles. Flexcar is a portfolio company of Revolution Living, the lifestyle-oriented investment firm founded by AOL Co-founder Steve Case.
Editor's Note: Correct spelling and punctuation of name is "Flexcar" (not Flex-car FlexCar, Flexicar or Flex Car).