In early June, SXSW Eco announced the first wave of programming for its fall conference in Austin.  Part of the line-up includes a panel discussion – "City Transit 411: Urban Myths & Urban Mobility" – featuring representatives from Enterprise CarShare, Getaround and the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

The panel, to be moderated by environmental journalist Jim Motavalli, will explain new transportation options available in urban markets and clarify common misconceptions about car sharing and ridesharing operations.   

On the heels of this announcement, a new blog has been posted by Lee Broughton, head of corporate sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise CarShare as well as three major car rental brands, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Enterprise CarShare operates in nearly 20 major markets, including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Toronto.

The service also is available on more than 80 university campuses, and 40 government and business campuses in North America. As a member of the CarSharing Association, Enterprise CarShare offers hybrid, plug-in and fuel-efficient vehicles, delivering car-sharing technology's speed and economy to organizations looking to enhance their fleet management operations along with their fiscal and social sustainability initiatives.

To that end, Broughton's blog notes key trends impacting urban mobility and Enterprise's role in developing sustainable transportation options. His commentary was published on DrivingFutures.com, a website highlighting Enterprise's long-term sustainability initiatives:

Urban Myths & Urban Mobility – at SXSW Eco
Today, people in major cities across the country are test-driving alternative transportation options that are ushering in a new era of urban mobility. Adoption of these new transportation services has the potential to provide a host of benefits, including less traffic congestion, reduced energy use and fewer vehicle emissions.

The growth in demand for these kinds of solutions is certainly fueling innovation in our business, as new technology makes it even easier for city dwellers to get from point A to point B, with quick access to transportation when and where they want it, and on their own terms. But the urban mobility revolution isn't without its challenges. As politicians, passengers and members of the transportation industry debate how to regulate new on-demand services, some are questioning the future of certain car-sharing and ride-sharing operations.

I'm pleased to share that in October, our own Ryan Johnson from Enterprise CarShare will join Getaround public policy expert Padden Murphy and Transportation Sustainability Research Center Co-Director Susan Shaheen, Ph.D., for a lively panel discussion about these very issues. Moderated by environmental journalist Jim Motavalli, the panel, "City Transit 411: Urban Myths & Urban Mobility" is among the first programs confirmed for this year's SXSW Eco conference, one of the world's largest sustainability conferences.

As the title suggests, the panel will address a variety of misconceptions about urban mobility solutions, including those related to regulation and safety. We'll also hear about the current and emerging trends that will shape the future of urban transit.

As a company that's uniquely positioned to help drive the future of sustainable transportation, this is a conversation that Enterprise has been a part of for some time. With our one-of-a-kind local car-rental and car-sharing network – including offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population – we can deliver vehicles around the clock right where our customers need them. And, with one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the country, we're able to introduce millions of drivers to new and sustainable automotive technology.

Whatever the future holds, we stand ready to keep providing affordable and accessible transportation options to urban consumers. To learn more about Enterprise's role in the changing transportation landscape, I invite you to join us at SXSW Eco by registering here.