PHILADELPHIA — The city of Philadelphia has begun leasing out cars and trucks, but the city won’t start selling them until the city has enough cars to rent and can handle the demand, city officials said Thursday.
In a news conference, city transportation chief Robert DeWitt said the city is working with a private company to lease up to 100,000 vehicles, including buses and vans, which would allow it to keep its current fleet of roughly 70,000 cars and buses.
It would also be able to keep the number of new vehicles it currently owns at roughly 30,000.
DeWitt says the city would need to make about $10 million a year to lease the vehicles.
It’s the first time in history that a city has leased its cars to private companies, and it could take about two years to fully transition to this model, he said.
City officials also said they’re planning to make a pilot program to allow drivers to rent vehicles, and that would help ease the city’s rental woes.
It’s unclear how many people in the city will be able rent a car, but DeWatt said they’d like to see the city be able start at 100,0000 vehicles.
“We’re hoping to have 100,001 vehicles leased by July,” he said, adding that it would take time to start paying drivers.
He also said the number could change from month to month as the city gets more vehicles.