On Monday, April 11, 2016, Ferndale celebrated its new partnership with Zipcar. I was honored to speak on behalf of my council colleagues to welcome our new partner to Ferndale. Below are my ribbon cutting ceremony comments:
It’s a pleasure today, on behalf of the Ferndale City Council and Mayor Coulter, and the Ferndale community to recognize and welcome our new partner, Zipcar. Zipcar is helping Ferndale better respond to and serve the evolving mobility needs of our residents and businesses.
Zipcar truly is a smarter way to get around a community, especially for people who envision living their life without owning a car or downsizing the number of vehicles they own. Instead, our younger residents and baby boomers want the freedom and flexibility to connect to Metro Detroit in new ways for travel, shopping, nightlife, and exploring. Car sharing is a global trend and it is growing.
According to the 2015 National League of Cities “The Future of the City” report, they state the following about transportation and mobility:
“Creating and sustaining a transportation network – a platform for commerce and human interaction – is one of the oldest and most important functions of government. However, as advancements in technology have occurred in concert with the development of new modes of transportation, this function has changed drastically. With current demographic shifts, generational preferences, wealth creation and other factors pointing toward the continued growth of cities, the importance of transportation and mobility is ever-growing.”
And according to MICH Auto, a program of the Detroit Regional Chamber, by 2020 85% of Michigan residents will live in cities and the auto industry is trending to more urbanization, investing in tech advancements and responding to rapid mobility changes. The traditional ways we know about personal travel is rapidly evolving.
Zipcar is a technology and mobility company that is responding to the changing personal mobility trends—they are responding to people like you and me. Perhaps your personal story is like my own. I own a car. I use Lyft and Uber when I do not want to drive. I pay for parking using Park Mobile and Park Detroit phone apps. I’m sure many of you also make similar choices or are considering do so in the near future. Essentially, technology and mobility are intertwined and it is impacting our personal lives.
Ferndale likes to be on the forefront when responding to trends and change, especially when it comes to improving how our citizens get around. We are responding to trends and the call for change to make our streets safer for people, our kids, our family members, and our senior citizens. Our protected bike lanes, our new bicycle network connecting to communities such as Pleasant Ridge, Hazel Park and Oak Park, safer sidewalks and pedestrian safety islands. Increasing choice and improving connectivity is why Ferndale supports the Regional Transit Authority and future bus rapid transit planned for Woodward. Investing in more choices is good for personal independence and business growth.
Another trend is a change in demand for different housing choices such as multi-family housing that young professionals and the baby boomers desire—they want to downsize and not mow the grass. Many want to live a car free lifestyle in an active and lively place like downtown Ferndale. The new Ferndale Haus 9 project will begin construction this spring, and now these our future new Ferndale residents will have another choice to go car free with our Zipcar partner.
Zipcar is a secure and inexpensive way of getting around town to buy groceries, to shop, attend nightlife, visit friends and family in our neighboring communities like Detroit. Zipcar fits into Ferndale’s vision of a connected region and easier way for how we all move around from one place to another. We are thankful for Zipcar’s one year Ferndale pilot program to identify how our residents and businesses use this new service. I look forward to hearing from our residents and businesses how Zipcar brings value to their lives.
And finally, because of Ferndale’s partnership with Zipcar, getting around Ferndale and our neighboring communities just became a little easier to do.
And in the immortal words of Billy Ocean,
Get outta my dreams
Get in to my car
Get outta my dream
Get in to the back seat baby
Get in to my car
Beep Beep, yeah
Get outta my mind
Get in to my life
Oh I said hey (Hey) you (You)
Get in to my Zipcar