Car sharing will now be available to students, faculty and staff at the University of Massachusetts Amherst thanks to a new partnership launched this week with Zipcar, Inc., the world’s leading car sharing network.
UMass Amherst will initially offer six vehicles, including a Honda Civic and Ford Focus Hatch model, which will be located in campus lots near the Southwest, Northeast and Central residential areas. Zipcars are available on-demand and can be easily reserved and accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The campus program is open to those 18 and over.
Members of the campus community can join for $25, with rates for Zipcar vehicles on campus starting as low as $7.50 per hour and $69 per day. After the first year, members will pay an annual membership fee of $35. Gas, insurance, reserved parking spots and up to 180 miles of driving per day are included in Zipcar rates, and cars can be reserved for as little as an hour or for multiple days. UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff can join Zipcar at www.zipcar.com/umass.
UMass Amherst Transportation Services director Jeri Baker said, “Zipcars are a welcome addition to our mix of transportation resources and choices – a mix that is increasing mindful of environmental and economic impact of those choices on our community and region.”
“I think Zipcar coming to UMass is great, especially in our efforts to be sustainable,” added Jacquelyn Hynes, a student and member of the eco-rep program. “Having Zipcar on campus will allow students to make smart transportation decisions while also reducing our carbon footprint.”
Participating members with smartphones, including iPhones and Android devices, may download the Zipcar mobile application to make reservations, lock and unlock the vehicles and honk the horn to help locate the vehicle. Reservations can also be made over the phone or on Zipcar’s website.
With the new Zipcar program available on campus, student organizations at UMass Amherst also now have the opportunity to participate in the “Students with Drive” grant program sponsored by Zipcar and Ford Motor Company, which provides students with Zipcar membership and driving credit to support student organizations on campus.
Through the Students with Drive grant program, Ford and Zipcar will provide $300,000 in grants to be awarded to student organizations at eligible Zipcar colleges and universities. The program is running now through April 2014 and will culminate with one student organization being awarded a grand prize of $5,000 in Zipcar driving credit, $10,000 in cash for the student organization to put toward its cause and $10,000 in cash to be awarded to the student organization’s 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.“We are excited to bring Zipcar onto the UMass campus and provide students, faculty and staff with access to a sustainable transportation option that provides fun and freedom, as well as environmental benefits for their campus,” said Katelyn Lopresti, general manager for Zipcar University. “Members can use Zipcars to run errands, attend job interviews and internships or get away for the weekend.”
Zipcar has established relationships with more than 300 universities across North America. For more information and how to become a member of Zipcar at UMass Amherst, please visit www.zipcar.com/umass. Additional information and promotions can also being found by following @ZipcarU on Twitter.