University Takes Car-Sharing Program for a Spin
Zipcars Give Users the Chance to Rent Wheels on Campus by the Hour
Sep. 26, 2011
College students are used to sharing, whether it’s living quarters, lecture notes or food. But how are almost 19,000 students going to share two vehicles?
The University's two Zipcars can be found in specifally marked spaces.
The answer: Zipcar, the car-sharing network that began service at UT Dallas in late August.
Students 18 and older with a valid driver’s license held for at least one year pay a $35 annual fee to join the program.
Members reserve a car online and pick it up from Lot I near the Alexander Clark Center (formerly the Conference Center). Rates vary but start at $8 an hour.
“This is a part of the University’s strategy to enhance services on campus while maintaining our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Dr. Calvin Jamison, senior vice president of business affairs.
Sophomore Jessica Higgins, the first student to become a UT Dallas Zipster, or member of the Zipcar community, likes having a transportation alternative to her bicycle.
“Zipcar's car sharing is going to be a great option for me. I can choose how much I use it, and how much I spend,” Higgins said. “The fact that gas and insurance are included makes it even more appealing.”
Mileage is also free, provided the trip is under 180 miles.
“I also like that car sharing is a green option in a world where everyone owning a car may not be a sustainable choice in the near future,” Higgins said. “Also, the convenience is awesome. The cars are right here on campus, and I love that I can make reservations online.”
UT Dallas Energy Conservation and Sustainability Manager Thea Junt, who helped bring the service to campus, likes Zipcar’s environmentally friendly operation.
“Sharing any mode of transportation reduces a person’s impact on the environment,” she said. “Zipcar has made UT Dallas’ program even greener by placing a hybrid vehicle with us to begin our program.”
The service also is available to faculty and staff, as well as members of the community age 21 and over. Academic and business units may open departmental accounts and use Zipcar as a fleet vehicle.
For more information, including how to become a member of Zipcar at UT Dallas, see www.zipcar.com/utdallas. To find out more about transportation options at UT Dallas, visit the Parking and Transportation website.
Above: When they are not in use, the UT Dallas Zipcars are parked in Lot I. Below: After drivers sign up to become Zipcar users, they can reserve cars online.