A national car-share program will offer University of Rochester students a new, convenient way to get off campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Zipcar, which will give students mobility with more freedom and cost-savings than a car of their own, will launch in Rochester next week with four vehicles, including one hybrid on the River Campus.
"Car sharing provides the opportunity for Rochester students who don't have cars to leave campus and accomplish something they couldn't do with public transportation, such as going to an interview, running errands or a weekend trip to the beach or the mountains," said Scott Griffith, CEO of Zipcar.
"Our students are active in the city of Rochester and this will make their access to the world around them just that much easier," said Jody Asbury, Dean of Students.
Available for use in hourly increments the Zipcar program is like having a car on campus without the cost of car payments, gas, insurance, and maintenance.
The four vehicles – a Honda Element, a Mazda 3 sport sedan, a Toyota Matrix sport wagon, and a Toyota Prius – will be available for use next week and all four will be parked on the River Campus.
University students 19 and older with three years of good driving history are eligible to become members. The service, which costs $7 an hour and a $30 annual fee, is also available to faculty and staff. Interested drivers can start applying for membership on Friday, Sept. 8, by visiting www.zipcar.com/rochester. Reservations will be accepted as of Tuesday, Sept. 12.
Once a membership is approved, drivers can then reserve the vehicle via the Web site for events, appointments and day-trips for the upcoming year. Management of the program is administered by Zipcar via the Web site and phone, allowing reservations to be made at any time of day or night.More than two-dozen universities in the country, including Harvard University, Princeton, and Columbia, participate in the program.
In the fall of 1999 two Zipcar founders brought an idea they had seen in Berlin, Germany to the United States. In June 2000 the first two Zipcars were on the road. Cars were outfitted with wireless technology, creating a hassle-free reservation system. Now, Zipcar is the largest car-sharing service in North America, with more than 70,000 drivers and operating more than 1,800 vehicles in 12 states and provinces. With 33 schools and about 12,000 student and faculty members, Zipcar is the largest university car-sharing program.For more information visit www.zipcar.com.