Zipcar expands Nation’s largest Campus Car Sharing Program
Zipcar, Inc., the world’s leading car sharing network, has now added service to more than 45 college and university campuses since the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. Zipcar is the leading choice for campus car sharing programs among colleges and universities because its fun, savvy and social brand appeals to students, while its practical, cost-saving and congestion-reducing service appeals to administrators.
Since December 2011, Zipcar has launched car sharing at Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Rowan University, Southern Connecticut State University, Valparaiso University, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Missouri-Kansas City/Rockhurst University, University of Oregon, University of the Pacific and University of Wisconsin-Madison. This comes on the heels of 36 campuses launched near the start of the 2011-2012 school year.
“Zipcar’s University program continues to gain momentum. We’ve been building our network of schools for the past decade and our extensive experience has helped us create and innovate a service that is easy, fun and cost effective for students. Our win-win partnership approach simultaneously helps universities reduce the costs and complexities of campus parking,” said Scott Griffith, Zipcar chairman and CEO. “Our strategic alliance with Ford Motor Company, the ‘Students with Drive’ grant program, our new Android™ mobile application and our industry-first ‘Reserve a Zipcar’ Facebook application – continue to make Zipcar the leading choice for campuses seeking to launch car sharing.”
Car sharing is becoming an effective option for campuses looking to reduce parking demand and congestion, as well as the carbon footprint of transportation and parking infrastructure. Studies have shown a single Zipcar can replace up to 15 personally owned vehicles, while also increasing the use of public transit, walking and biking.
“Transportation Services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is excited to continue our commitment to car sharing with the new Zipcar program on campus. The department and the University have long supported the car sharing concept because we know that it can help students and employees reduce their cost of living, as well as their carbon footprint,” said Darwin Ward, Commuter Solutions manager, University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We know that having access to car sharing vehicles available for short-term reservations can make it easier to live on campus without a car, as well as to make the decision to walk, bike, bus, or carpool/vanpool to work.”
“We believe the Zipcar program will be a perfect complement to University of Misouri-Kansas City’s growing mission as a leader in promoting sustainability initiatives in the community,” said Robert Simmons, Associate Vice Chancellor of Administration at UMKC. “With the great success and popularity of UMKC’s student bus pass program and campus bike-share program, the addition of Zipcar is a logical next step in UMKC’s mission to lead the way in exploring and implementing innovative and effective environmentally friendly programs to benefit our students, our community and our planet.”
This past fall, Zipcar announced a strategic alliance with Ford Motor Company to offer the highly fuel-efficient Focus and Escape models as part of the University fleet, and also offer discounted rates on both the Zipcar membership fee and hourly rates on Ford vehicles. In addition, Zipcar and Ford launched the “Students with Drive” grant program which provides students with free Zipcar memberships and driving credits to support student organizations on campus.
Through the “Students with Drive” grant program, Ford and Zipcar are providing $300,000 in grants to be awarded to student organizations at participating campuses. The program is running now through April 2012 and will culminate with one student organization being awarded a grand prize of $5,000 in Zipcar credits, $10,000 for the student organization to put toward its cause and $10,000 to be awarded to the winning school. For more information and to participate in the program, students can visit the “Students with Drive” tab on Zipcar’s University Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ZipcarU.
Additionally in 2011, Zipcar introduced the “Reserve a Zipcar” Facebook application and a new Android™ mobile application, adding to its collection of both social and mobile applications and services, and providing members with increased avenues through which they can reserve a Zipcar. In addition to the Facebook application and new Android application, Zipcar members also have access to Zipcar’s iPhone® application – recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “50 Best iPhone Apps in 2011” – as well as Zipcar’s mobile website, which can be used on Blackberry® devices and smartphones to make, extend or change reservations.
“The enhancements to our program reflect our commitment to innovating our service and the industry. Our unique understanding of the university market enables us to continuously evolve our service to meet the needs of our members,” said Griffith. “Our second annual Millennials study showed once again that this generation is thinking differently about personal mobility, and they are heavily influenced by technology, social networks and collaborative consumption – all of which are hallmarks of the Zipcar model.”
As an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car, the Zipcar hourly and daily rates include gas, 180 miles of travel per day, insurance, reserved parking spots and roadside assistance. This year, as part of Zipcar’s alliance with Ford, the annual membership fee for individuals at participating colleges and universities is $25, and rates on the vehicles start as low as $7 per hour and $66 per day (24 hours), which includes access to more than 30 makes and models of vehicles. Students at participating universities can join today by visiting www.zipcar.com/universities.