Wesleyan University and many peer institutions are looking into a program called Zipcar. Zipcar
brings cars to towns and institutions to be used by anyone with a license, charging per hour a reasonable fee, priced by the frequency of use of the cars. Zipcar is unique in that consumers can rent cars by the hour or the day and anyone over the age of 18 can rent one, which makes the option particularly beneficial to colleges and universities.
Zipcar is an appealing option to many institutions because the program is sustainable and environmentally friendly. The program offers many rental options, including hybrids, and encourages people to use the transportation available rather than buying a car of their own. There are many different plans and rates which can be negotiated based on the size and makeup of a community.
Many Connecticut schools have seen success with the program including Amherst, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Smith, Wellesley, Connecticut College and Brown University. Williams College, proud of its commitment to "green" alternatives in transportation, sees regular use of its four Zipcars on campus, available to both students and residents of Williamstown, says Timothy J. Reisler, assistant director for administrative services at Willams. Read the article here.
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Bowdoin College campus news notes that "Zipcar offers convenience while also eliminating hundreds of dollars in monthly transportation costs, saving members an average of $436 per month or $5,232 per year when compared with car ownership." Read the article here. Bowdoin's Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster expects to see fewer student cars each year. He noted, "Zipcar will provide an inexpensive and convenient alternative for them and for our upper-class students, faculty and staff. Thanks to Zipcar, over time I expect we'll see fewer students with cars and more one car families."
Carol T. Christ, president of Smith College, noted the importance of Zipcar in her State of the College Address. "Beyond buildings, Smith is also investing in sustainable transportation."
The ties that bind
Zipcar is also a great way to bind an institution to the community around it. So if you're working for an institution that needs better transportation or if you're interested in making transportation near you more sustainable, try bringing Zipcar to your workplace or place of study. The cars are environmentally friendly and affordable! If you split the price between four people, it's actually incredibly inexpensive. Zipcars are becoming increasingly more popular. Bring Zipcar to your school or look for a Zipcar company near you!
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