Yesterday’s announcement that University at Buffalo had chosen Zipcar as its provider of car sharing services was a bit of a surprise. Although Zipcar has been around for a few more years and thus has the ability to show up Buffalo Car Share in tech and the number of car models offered, homegrown Buffalo CarShare had stated that it was up to the challenge if given the opportunity. If UB had stated that the three campuses were going to be included as test markets for the Zipcar plug-in hybrids, as the company is doing in San Francisco, then maybe I would have understood the decision. The news delivered to CarShare simply stated that the bid was awarded to Zipcar.
As it stands, the local guy, born on the UB campus, was passed over for the national (see back story). Some might say that CarShare was beat by the more experienced player. Others could argue that UB was the incubator that helped to launch CarShare, and ever since the launch the local company has grown its fleet and stayed true to its mission. How important was it that the money stayed here in Buffalo? How important was it to give the bid to the local guy? Or was it the bottom line and that’s final?
Apparently Buffalo CarShare is in the process of regrouping and now wants to approach Canisius, Medaille, D’Youville and Buffalo State as the hometown choice when it comes to car sharing. Let’s hope that they see the importance of supporting a local business.
Photo: Amy Kedron of Buffalo First recently spoke at a Buffalo CarShare press announcement in which she stated the importance for local companies to buy local.