The University of Massachusetts Amherst campus will be joining the likes of Washington University in St. Louis, University of South Florida, and over fifty other universities around the nation with its new We Car program. The We Car program is a car sharing plan run by Enterprise Rent-A-Car that will allow individuals to rent cars right on the UMass campus. Students, faculty, staff, and even local Amherst residents will be able to take advantage of this new program, which will be accessible from the Campus Center Garage.
The We Car program is membership based and allows member to go online and rent a car which they can then access from the garage using their membership card. The vehicles are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week at an hourly rate and can be kept overnight. On weekdays members will be charged eight dollars per hour, and on the weekends the price increases to nine dollars per hour.
We Car is being touted as a great step towards sustainable transportation, as it will ideally keep more drivers off the road. Students attending the university are less likely to bring their cars from home if they know there is a car sharing program right on campus. Furthermore, faculty and staff may drive to campus less frequently if they know there are cars available to use if they really need one.
Not only do car sharing programs like We Car reduce traffic congestion on roadways by decreasing the number of cars on the road, but they also decrease emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles. This emissions reduction is twofold. First, because there are fewer cars on the road less greenhouse gases are released. Second, almost all of the vehicles chosen by Enterprise for the We Car program are hybrid, or at least highly fuel efficient. The UMass campus will now house a hatchback Ford Focus, a Ford Fusion, and a Nissan Cube.