Terwilliger Plaza
April 29, 2024

Zipcar brings car sharing to a sustainable senior community

The Highlights: 

  • Terwilliger Plaza needed a smarter, more sustainable transportation option for its independent-living community in downtown Portland, Oregon. 

  • Zipcar created a custom car-sharing program for Terwilliger Plaza that gave residents exclusive access to a dedicated car. 

  • Terwilliger Plaza residents got discounted rates and fees with Zipcar’s custom pricing.  

  • Today, Terwilliger Plaza has a dedicated car, business account, and residential discount to serve its community’s needs.  

  • Zipcar has helped drive Terwilliger Plaza’s sustainability—its residents have an alternative to car ownership and the property has a new amenity.  

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About Terwilliger Plaza 

Terwilliger Plaza, established in 1962, is a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Portland, Oregon. It’s the third-largest retirement community in Oregon and a leader in sustainability and innovation.  


The Background 

In 2023, Terwilliger Plaza completed a $154 million expansion that would redefine independent living in the northwest. Its new Parkview building not only offered stunning views of downtown Portland but was also built with sustainability in mind.  

It boasted energy-efficient spaces, a green rooftop, long-term carbon savings and—of course—unmatched comfort for its residents.    

While Terwilliger Plaza’s new expansion brought world-class, senior living to Portland, the campus didn’t have enough parking spaces for its residents. Their CEO, Ryan Miller knew they still needed a smart, sustainable way for residents to get around the city.  

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The Solution 

In 2023, Terwilliger Plaza partnered with Zipcar for a cost-effective, sustainable transportation solution for its seniors. 

We built a custom car-sharing program, offering an exclusive vehicle just for Terwilliger Plaza residents. The partnership also included custom pricing with discounted rates and fees for residents. We also shared monthly custom reports, so Terwilliger Plaza could measure its goals and track program metrics.  

A few months after their car-sharing program launched, Terwilliger Plaza approached us for access to other Zipcars for residents—in case their dedicated car was in use. We created a business account for the plaza so residents could book Zipcars anywhere. Today Terwilliger has a dedicated Zipcar on site with a residential discount plus a business account—and it’s all packaged together to meet the needs of their community.


The Result 

The Zipcar partnership has not only boosted sustainability efforts for Terwilliger Plaza, but it has also given a big boost to its residents. Along with greater mobility around Portland, residents also no longer worry about the headaches of car ownership.    

Plus, for the community’s management team, car sharing means an added amenity. It’s been a great way to improve resident satisfaction and stand out from other senior communities.  

 “Zipcar helped us create a perfect program that worked for our community and gave residents an option for transportation to help them stay as independent as possible, saving them from the costs of owning and maintaining a vehicle, as well as helping Terwilliger Plaza contribute to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Stephanie Roberts, Terwilliger Plaza’s Director of Community Life.    

Our partnership with Terwilliger Plaza and other communities and organizations has also had an impact on the city of Portland: 

• One Zipcar takes 13 personally owned cars off the street.  

• Zipcar households in Portland own 58% fewer vehicles than the average household. That’s 3rd best in the country.  

• 45% of Zipcar members in Portland got rid of their vehicles. That’s 3,865 vehicles off the streets.