Recently, Enterprise announced the acquisition of PhillyCarShare, which serves more than 13,000 members in the Philadelphia area. It created a lot of buzz, not just in Philadelphia, but across our industry, and for good reason.
The fact is, the PhillyCarShare model aligns quite nicely with the grassroots, locally-focused model that has fueled Enterprise’s growth for the last 55 years. It’s really all about creating economic value for our business and customers in ways that also creates value for society, and especially local communities, by addressing their needs and challenges. While this “shared value” concept has recently been brought to the forefront by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer in the Harvard Business Review, it’s been part of Enterprise’s DNA for decades.
This focus on creating value at the local level is what’s made joining forces with PhillyCarShare such a natural extension of our business. To that end, we’ll be operating PhillyCarShare right alongside our B2B WeCar by Enterprise car-sharing program, our local Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices, and our Rideshare vanpooling and carpooling commuter services, all of which are collectively designed and integrated to meet the total transportation needs of consumers and business customers from coast to coast.
Consumers and business customers can count on us for something else as well. We will not ease up on our fight against discriminatory car rental taxes, which many elected officials still market as a “visitors tax” but in reality target both out-of-towners and local residents. As you know, these taxes are owed whether vehicles are rented by the hour, the day, the week or longer. (More background on this issue can be found in our Oct. 29th “Enterprise Holdings Stands Up for Car-Sharing Customers”press release and our Aug. 9th PhillyCarShare announcement.) So, we’ll continue to fight unfair car rental excise taxes in Philadelphia – a city synonymous with standing up against “taxation without representation” – and throughout the country.
Moreover, we understand that our company succeeds only if the communities where we do business likewise succeed. As a result, we buy cars and supplies locally, hire locally and pay local taxes. We also support local causes like the United Way, the Urban League and PhillyPatientRide. And, of course, we strategically and reliably provide sustainable local transportation solutions – and that includes using our resources to enhance the PhillyCarShare fleet, increase the number of parking spaces and even more effectively serve the needs of the Philadelphia community for the long term.