Recently, Union’s Student Forum accomplished its yearlong initiative of bringing Zipcar to campus. According to Zipcar’s website, it is a “car-sharing” company, which provides automobile reservations to its members, whom are billed by the hour or day.
Zipcar members also have a monthly membership fee in addition to the reservation fees.
On its website, Zipcar notes many university specific benefits, including: the reduction of demand for on-campus parking; a sustainable alternative transportation solution that reduces carbon footprint; a turnkey program that includes gas and insurance; flexible programs; and a simple online application and approval process.
Students will have self-service access to cars 24/7, and will be able to reserve cars located directly on campus, via online or using a mobile device.
President of Student Forum Ilan Levine ’16 noted that the goal of getting Zipcar to Union’s campus has been an important goal of the Student Forum throughout the year. In the fall, Student Forum met with a representative from Zipcar, while also reaching out to the student body to gauge interest.
Levine noted that the idea was discussed for several weeks before an official vote was held, when Student Forum decided to move forward with negotiations.
According to Levine, Union will start with two cars on campus. It will cost $15 for students to subscribe for a yearlong Zipcar membership, and subscribers will have access to the cars at an hourly rate. Levine stated that the partnership between Union and Zipcar has heavily subsidized the cost for students. Any one who is 18 years or older with a driver’s license can use the cars, including students with international licenses.
The initial concept of bringing Zipcar on campus originated from Class of 2017 President Sarthak Grover ’17.
In regards to Zipcar’s impact on student life at Union, Levine noted that Zipcar will, “Provide all students with access to cars. This will especially impact first years and international students.” Levine also noted that Zipcar has an environmentally sustainable impact on campuses by encouraging car sharing and the use of hybrid vehicles.
The official launch is tentatively scheduled for March 30. Levine stated that the cars will be on campus by the time students return from spring break.