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Rhodes Gives Green Light to Zipcar

Publication Date: 8/19/2010

New program aims to reduce parking demand by offering convenient, cost effective and environmentally friendly option to owning a car  

With the college cranking up for a new semester, soon students will be able to reserve Zipcars on campus to run errands, shop at the grocery or mall, go out on the town or even use for short weekend trips.

As is true at most colleges and universities, more and more students are bringing cars to campus which results in fewer parking spaces and more air pollution. Now with Zipcars, more students can carpool and faculty and staff who leave their cars at home can have access to transportation when needed. Also international and out-of-town students who don’t own cars can have more mobility. Users must be at least 18 years old.

Carpools.  Car congestion reduction.  Convenience. These are all benefits of this sustainable, alternative transportation.

Founded in 2000 in Cambridge, Mass., Zipcar is touted as the world’s largest car-sharing service with locations across the United States, London, Toronto and Vancouver. Rhodes will be one of only three sites in Tennessee. (Belmont and Vanderbilt  universities in Nashville are the others.)

“We are excited about the addition of Zipcars at Rhodes,” said John Blaisdell, associate dean of students. “It is an excellent way to conserve parking spaces and provides an alternative to those not requiring daily transportation. I believe the ease of use should make the program a success.”  

Zipcar is membership-based which means for $35 per year, “Zipsters”—who are what the company calls those using the program—can view vehicle availability and reserve a self-service car via the internet, mobile device, or telephone and pay only for the time they reserve. Fees start at $8/9 per hour (weekday/weekend) or $66/72 per day (weekday/weekend) and include gas, insurance, and 180 miles per 24-hour period. Users are responsible overage charges. Zipsters also receive $35 in free driving during the first month of membership.

“In addition to easing parking demands, Zipcar is a cost-effective and convenient transportation option that will help Rhodes to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Matt Malloy, vice president of global university operations at Zipcar. “Zipcar is environmentally friendly as it takes 15 to 20 privately owned vehicles off the road.”

Zipcar uses an in-car technology that communicates with the car to lock and unlock the doors as well as report its position, hours of usage and mileage. The cars also have a “kill” function to prevent the car from starting in the event of theft. Zipcar even offers a fun and functional iPhone app that will honk the horn to locate a Zipcar and unlock the doors for members.

Vehicles at Rhodes will include one hybrid and one non hybrid and will be available for pickup in the Briggs Student Center parking lot. Zipcar has established partnerships with more than 200 universities and utilizes a network of local vendors to service and clean its fleet.  

For more information, including how to enroll in Zipcar at Rhodes College, please visit: http://www.zipcar.com/rhodes

Matt McCulloch, 2010 Rhodes Student Government President, in front of Zipcars at Rhodes

Tags: Campus Life

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