Western starts Zipcar program on campus

Brianna Kuplent
Communications and Marketing intern
Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 12:59pm

Western Washington University faculty, staff and students needing a ride to work, an internship or where they volunteer may soon get one when a pair of Zipcars, a Ford Focus and Ford Escape, become available on Western’s campus in January.

A kickoff event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14. Those interested in the program can stop by the Viking Union for giveaways and to meet Zipcar representatives and have questions answered about the program.

Zipcar is a membership-based car-sharing program that offers sustainable transportation for communities and individuals with the goal to reduce pollution and the amount of cars on the road.

Reservations start at $7.50 per hour, and that includes gas and 180 miles of driving distance. For longer reservations, the daily fee starts at $69 and includes gas, mileage and insurance. Faculty, staff, students and community members can join for $25, and are given $35 in driving credit to use during the first months of membership.

Zipcar members must be at least 18 years old with an approved driving record and at least one year of driving history.

Members reserve online or by phone and pick up the car at lot 11G, near Canada House and High Street Hall. Each member’s Zipcard unlocks and locks the doors when the member places the card over the card reader on the windshield. Car keys are left in the car at all times, and reservations can be extended using the mobile app if no one else is waiting for the car.

“Having Zipcar available as a transportation option for both personal and work-related trips by students, staff and faculty marks a milestone in Western's Sustainable Transportation program,” said Carol Berry, Western’s Campus Conservation and Sustainable Transportation program manager. “This is an important strategy to reduce Western's climate footprint, while addressing the need for a car for some off-campus trips.”

According to Zipcar, members of car-sharing programs report a 47 percent increase in public transit trips, a 10 percent increase in bicycling trips and a 26 percent increase in walking trips. When car owners switch to car-sharing programs, the number of miles driven is reduced by half, and Zipsters save over $500 a month on average, according to the company.

Zipcar was founded in 2000 with the idea to give people 24-hour access to transportation and to reduce pollution by car sharing; it is now a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc.

For more information about Zipcar, contact Carol Berry at 360-650-7979.