Sep 29, 2011
Humboldt State University has launched a partnership with Zipcar, Inc., billed as the world’s leading car-sharing network, to offer a car-sharing program on campus.
Considered a cost-effective and convenient transportation option, the service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all students, faculty and staff ages 18 and older, as well as to members of the local community ages 21 and over. Humboldt State University students, faculty, staff and local community members can join anytime at zipcar.com/humboldtstate.
Campus members pay a $35 annual fee; campus rates start as low as $8 per hour and $66 per day. Fuel, insurance, reserved parking spots, up to 180 miles of driving per day and roadside assistance are included in the hourly and daily rates. Cars can be reserved for as little as an hour or for multiple days.
“The program truly provides a turn-key transportation option for anyone needing only periodic use of a vehicle,” says TallChief Comet, director of HSU’s Office of Sustainability. “It also contributes to the university reducing its carbon footprint in several ways.”
The service is expected to save students parking, gas, insurance and vehicle maintenance costs while reducing the number of cars on campus and helping relieve parking congestion.
Two Zipcars are available initially, located at Library Circle off L.K. Wood Boulevard. They are self-service and can be reserved and picked up 24 hours a day. Users with smartphones, including iPhones and Android devices, can download mobile applications to make reservations, lock and unlock the cars and honk the horn to locate them. Reservations can also be made by phone or the Zipcar Web site.
“I believe the program is an affordable and reliable alternative for students, who have historically brought their cars to campus and paid for a parking permit, just to have them sit for a majority of the semester,” says Interim University Police Chief Lynne Soderberg.
In addition to convenience and cost savings, there are environmental benefits. Studies have shown that each car shared takes 15 privately owned vehicles off the road and that drivers reduce their miles traveled per trip by almost 50 percent when car sharing, says Mark Norman, Zipcar president and COO.
The program augments HSU’s continuing alternative transportation efforts, including the JackPass program that offers free bus rides to students with valid student ID; weekend shuttles from Housing for on-campus residents; free day parking for carpools of three or more passengers; and the annual “Car Free Day,” which publicizes alternative transportation.
“By bringing Zipcar to campus, Humboldt State is keeping up its record of sustainability and awareness about the environmental impacts of transportation,” said Associated Students President Bryan Kelly. “We’re moving in the right direction to develop more programs and services to meet students’ needs, budgets and lifestyles. I think it’s going to be a huge hit. Students will see the benefits right away.”
Zipcar has partnerships with more than 230 universities in North America, including the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University and the University of Southern California. Information is posted at zipcar.com/humboldtstate.