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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Zipcar car-sharing introduced to UA

Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wil
Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wildcat Zipcars, a car sharing company founded on the idea of less congestion and pollution, can be found on the UA campus near the Harvill building (pictured), on Highland Ave., Tyndall Ave. and other locations. UA students can join Zipcar, make a reservation, and have a car for the time they need it.

Parking and Transportation Services at the UA introduced Zipcar, a car-sharing service, at the beginning of this semester to replace their previous contract with Hertz.

Zipcar is a car-sharing system where an individual signs up for a membership, reserves the vehicle, goes to one of the several locations on campus where the cars are located and uses their membership card to unlock the vehicle.

According to CJ Himberg, the public relations specialist for Zipcar, it allows a student to have access to a car on campus without the hassle of owning one.

Himberg said the company launched six cars on campus this fall, including a Ford Focus, a Volkswagen Jetta and a Toyota Prius.

“The convenient transportation option is now available to [the UA] community at an affordable rate,” Himberg said. “24 hours a day, seven days a week for students, faculty and staff ages 18 and older, as well as members of the local community ages 21 and over.” Jose Santana, a freshman studying agribusiness economics and management, recently signed up for Zipcar.

“I think it’s a good idea and gets you out of a jam if you really need a car,” Santana said. “It’s very convenient for short-term use, but can get pricey if you constantly use it.”

The previous car-sharing option on campus was Hertz. According to David Heineking, director of Parking and Transportation Services, the transition to the new option was a matter of business.

“In the normal course of business, when the agreement with Hertz expired, we requested proposals from car-share companies to operate on campus,” Heineking said. “Hertz chose not to submit a proposal.”

Heineking explained Zipcar was chosen because of name recognition, experience and professionalism.

Himberg said that Zipcar is beneficial to everyone, not just UA students.

“Zipcars also help reduce traffic congestion and lower the campus’ carbon footprint,” Himberg said. “With each Zipcar being able to meet the needs of between 40 and 60 students, faculty and staff, all of a sudden, parking on campus becomes a little more manageable.”

UA students, faculty and staff can sign up for a Zipcar membership for a one-time $25 application fee and a $60 annual fee. Former Hertz members can join for free. The cost of driving a Zipcar is either an hourly rate of $7.50 or $69 for the entire day. The price includes gas, insurance and an allotment of 180 miles for the day.

“They have been very successful already this year,” Heineking said. “We are very pleased to have them on campus and encourage everyone to try them out.”


Follow Ariella Noth on Twitter.

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