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Several Colleges Offering Car-Sharing Service on Campus

Several Colleges Offering Car-Sharing Service on Campus

This academic year, a number of campuses are offering students, faculty and staff the hourly and daily use of cars through Zipcar, a national provider of self-service cars. Four institutions — the University of Minnesota, Brown University, Rutgers University and the University of Massachusetts-Boston — are making Zipcars accessible to their college communities.

The vehicles come with gas, insurance, maintenance and satellite radio included.

The four join 19 other higher education institutions, including Princeton University; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Boston College; and George Washington University, which have agreements with Zipcar to participate in the increasingly popular car-sharing trend.

“Our forward-thinking university partners reduce the demand and expense for parking infrastructure, and the campus community at large gains access to a fleet of conveniently located, affordable cars. These partnerships are a classic example of a win-win relationship,” says Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith.

Parking and traffic congestion have been stubborn issues, especially on urban campuses. But car sharing could improve campus life by providing an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to privately owned automobiles and traditional car rental. Zipcars parked at the University of Minnesota, UMass-Boston and Rutgers are accessible to local residents and businesses, as well as to Zipcar’s 50,000 existing members nationwide.

“Primarily, it provides the opportunity for students who don’t have cars to leave campus and accomplish something they couldn’t do with public transportation, such as going to an interview, running errands or getting groceries,” says Jack Molenaar, Rutgers’ director of parking and transportation services. “Since the service is cheaper and more convenient than owning, it will also be an incentive for students who already have cars not to bring them on campus.”

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