prius.jpgSan Francisco International Airport (SFO) is launching the nation’s first Green Rental Car program that rewards customers for renting “green” alternative-fueled vehicles and rental car companies for increasing rentals of high mileage and alternative-fuel vehicles. The innovative incentive program is expected to eliminate more than 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.

“The Green Rental Car program is an innovative, market-based incentive program that will produce very tangible results in a short period of time,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “The benefits of this program extend far and wide – travelers, rental car agencies and the environment all gain through this program.”

Customers who rent hybrid cars that achieve an EPA rating of 18 or higher will receive a $15 discount at the counter. Cars in this category include the Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid or Toyota Prius.

Likewise, airport rental car companies will qualify for a 20 percent reduction of their airport rent fees if they achieve a goal of increasing the percentage of their overall transactions to 15 percent for rentals of hybrid cars or high mileage vehicles – those with an EPA rating of 17 or higher. Cars in this category include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Focus, as well as the hybrid cars. By offering these incentives to customers and rental car companies, SFO hopes to increase the total number of high mileage and hybrid cars in the rental fleet to more than 15 percent.

prius-hybrid.jpg “The Green Rental Car program is the first of several green initiatives the airport is rolling out in 2009,” said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. “We’re committed to making SFO the sustainable airport of choice for California travelers.”

Local business are supporting the program, including Gap Inc. “At Gap Inc., we’re always looking for ways to do business better,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, senior director of social responsibility and environmental affairs, Gap Inc. “This program with SFO is a natural collaboration for us as we build on the wide roster of environmentally friendly transportation alternatives we currently offer our employees. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this innovative program to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area.”

The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau is also publicizing the program to tour groups and conventions. “The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau applauds SFO for their commitment to place San Francisco at the forefront of the green movement,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO, SFCVB. “This discount will encourage visitors to rent hybrid cars and by doing so, join in the effort to reduce our carbon footprint.”
(source: Office of the mayor of San Francisco)

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