If you’ve been to an outdoor event in North Brooklyn this summer, you’ve seen them giving out marketing material. Maybe you got a free T-shirt at McCarren Park or tossed a logo-emblazoned Frisbee at a Williamsburg Park concert. More than likely, you just wondered, “Who or what the heck is ‘Carpingo?’”
We got our answer on Tuesday, August 14th, when Brooklyn’s newest entry to hourly car rentals officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Standing in a steady rain, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblyman Alan Maisel, incoming Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura and Carpingo founder Gil Cygler cut a bright orange ribbon, adorning a Fiat 500 decorated with the Carpingo logo.
Cygler, 2012’s Car Rental Executive of the Year, launched the new company as an alternative to ZipCar. Signups and reservations are done online. Drivers/members pick up or are mailed a swipe card to open their reserved car, which has its keys inside. 180 free miles, basic insurance coverage, gas and a gas card for refills are included with every reservation. Several tiers of membership are available, with most hourly rates below $10 and some as low as $4.50. As a Brooklyn based company, Carpingo users can also expect to find surprises in their cars, like last-minute deal opportunities and free tickets to events.
According to Markowitz, Carpingo is expected to bring a half-million dollars directly into the Brooklyn economy each year. “Companies like Carpingo are popping up in our borough, creating jobs, jobs, jobs,” declared Markowitz. “[They] are setting the bar for how business should be done, from working with local merchants to promote their businesses and partnering with hospitals to create a ridesharing program that gets patients to their medical appointments to giving St. Francis College and Berkeley College Brooklyn campus students and new grads job opportunities.”
Cygler’s family has been in the car rental business for over 30 years. The company he founded with his father, AllCar Rent A Car, is the largest independent car rental company in New York City, with 12 offices and a staff of 100. He started Carpingo to address changes in the car rental business, specifically the need to “provide a highly-flexible, 24/7, on-demand service for a world that is increasingly dominated by small screen, paperless transactions and brands that must deliver highly-perceived value for highly-competitive pricing.”
A popular and well-respected member of Brooklyn’s business community, Cygler was clearly thrilled with Carpingo’s kick-off event, at which he was joined by family, friends and dozens of well wishers. “What’s most gratifying is…to found and headquarter the company in my own hometown, my beloved borough of Brooklyn!”
For more information and reservations, visit www.carpingo.com.
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