SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The state of Illinois maintains thousands of cars in its fleet but, but now it is trying a cheaper and greener alternative.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the state Department of Central Management Services is contracting with the car-sharing service Zipcars to have 500 cars available for state workers to use in Chicago and Springfield.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Central Management Services spokeswoman Alka Nayyar says the cars are hybrids, making them better environmentally and cheaper.

“They maintain the vehicles. The gas is covered. The insurance is covered,” Nayyar said, “and it’s convenient. They’re available in multiple locations.”

If the Zipcars plan works out, Nayyar says some of the older and less fuel-efficient cars in the state-owned fleet will be retired.

“The plan is to try to replace some of the higher-mileage vehicles that are costlier to maintain,” she said.

Nayyar says she is not sure whether Gov. Pat Quinn will be riding around in Zipcars anytime soon, but says he supports the effort to find ways of saving the state money on its vehicle costs.