Nearly 15 percent of Zipcar members are Baby Boomer-aged urbanites.
The so-called “sharing economy” is not for Millennials only. Baby Boomers are coming along for the ride; literally, according to an independent study of “Urban Boomers “commissioned by car sharing network Zipcar.
The Urban Boomer, ages 50-69, is, according to the study, “tech-savvy, highly active, and while many still own a car, they are driving less after moving to the city” and open to the concept of car sharing. Nearly 15 percent of Zipcar members are Boomers, Zipcar President Kaye Ceille, noted in a statement.
Car sharing is similar to car rental, but members of a car sharing service primarily pay for short-term usage by the hour or day. There is also a membership fee. Cars can be reserved, picked up at a designated area and returned to the same spot. The membership card unlocks the vehicle.
Car sharing is just one of the amenities that Urban Boomers seek when they consider moving to a city, according to the Zipcar study. Nine-in-ten respondents said that amenities, such as restaurants, shopping and the arts are the No. 1 factor for moving to a city, over a shorter commute (87 percent), proximity to friends and family (88 percent) or getting around without a car (65 percent).
Among the primary benefits of becoming Urban Boomers, respondents said, is being close to a significant other (61 percent), taking advantage of what the city has to offer (59 percent), a more “carefree and exciting” existence (55 percent), being more active (54 percent) and making more new friends (51 percent).
Car sharing has increasingly become an alternative for the urban Boomers who indicate they don’t need a car or even have a license (a driver’s license is required to join a car sharing service). Nearly eight-in-ten Urban Boomers do own at least one car, but they have used it less since moving to the city. Nearly one-third of Urban Boomer car owners do not use it everyday.The survey finds that Urban Boomers would be more upset if they lost their laptop than if they lost their car.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.