Car-sharing arrives at UD
By: Christina Vaughan-Robinette – Senior, History
The University of Dayton began a partnership with Zipcar on March 2 to bring students and staff an environmentally friendly way to commute. Zipcar is an on-demand car-sharing service that enables its members to reserve cars via Internet, mobile app or phone for an hourly or daily rate that includes gas, mileage and insurance.
“Zipcar can help reduce the carbon footprint, and one of my jobs for the university is to find ways we can reduce our carbon footprint,” said Kurt Hatcher, UD’s environmental sustainability manager. “Our hope is that for students—where it makes sense—may choose not to bring a vehicle to campus, and they would ultimately drive less because they would have access to a Zipcar rather than their own personal vehicle.”
UD’s two Zipcars, a Toyota Prius and a Ford Focus, are available for use in their parking spots behind the RecPlex.
How to Join
Members must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license. Licenses outside the U.S. and Canada are accepted, as well. Students can apply online at zipcar.com/udayton by filling out a few simple questions regarding your address and payment information. Once approved, members will receive their Zipcard in the mail.
How to Use
To unlock the Zipcar, members need to hold their Zipcards to the windshield of the reserved car for a few seconds, and the doors will automatically unlock. The car is theirs to use for the allotted time they reserved it for.
“With Zipcar, you can decide exactly where you are going—you aren’t bound by service areas, like traditional taxi services or Uber,” Hatcher said. “With Zipcar you have the freedom of the vehicle and you have the flexibility of taking other people with you, you have the cargo space, the ability to cost-share and, as long as everyone in the car is a member, then anyone can drive.”
Once the members complete the drive, they must return the Zipcar to the original parking spot.
Compared to regular members, university students receive the cheapest membership pricing with Zipcar. Currently, the cost of an annual membership is $15 for the first year of membership and $25 for each subsequent year. Those who sign up now using the code: “FLYERS2016” will receive an additional $25 worth of driving credit on their accounts. When members sign up at zipcar.com/udayton Ford offers $10 off the first year of membership. Members can also sign up for email promotions for additional savings. Once students sign up at a university rate, they will always be charged this rate—even after graduation.
“The general rate is $70 a year,” Hatcher said. “A lot of our students either come from cities that have Zipcar or are going to end up working in cities that have Zipcar, so it’s a great service to have access to.”
Members must pay a $1,000 damage fee per incident. However, the fee can be lessened or eliminated if the member buys a non-refundable $79 annual damage fee waiver, according to Zipcar’s website.
Car Rental Cost
The cars can be rented for a full-day, hourly-weekday or hourly-weekend rate. The full-day rate is the same for either car at $69/day. The hourly-weekday rate for the Focus is $7.50/hour and the Prius is $8.50/hour. The hourly-weekend rate for the Focus is $8.50/hour and the Prius is $9.50/hour. Cars can be rented for a maximum for seven days and be driven 180 miles/day (additional cost for mileage beyond 180 miles).
As usage of Zipcars increases on campus, so will the number of Zipcars available. Zipcars are now located at over 500 college campuses across the country. At other colleges, Zipcar has become very much part of the campus culture, evidenced by their fleets of 20 or more cars.
For additional information about Zipcar and its services, you can visit its Dayton website.
Photo: The two Zipcars, a Toyota Prius and a Ford Focus, are parked behind the RecPlex. Chris Santucci/ Multimedia Editor