By Ashley Isken
Bucknell Student Government (BSG) will launch Zipcar, the world’s largest car-sharing service, on campus this fall.
After signing up for membership online and paying a fee, students will be able to use the environmentally-friendly cars wherever they wish for an unlimited time.
“Pending the general council’s approval, Bucknell will become one of the many universities providing this service,” said Glenn Fisher, a member of the transportation department. The University has yet to execute the contract, but BSG has been working to ensure the contract is finalized in the next few weeks and be in place by August. Ali Jones ’11, former BSG vice president of operations, initially introduced the idea of bringing Zipcar to campus.
“We worked extensively with Zipcar and the University to prepare this program and hope that the campus community will embrace it in the coming academic year,” said Michelle Beck ’11, current vice president of operations.
The recently-internationalized company is the largest car-sharing service to date with 6,000 vehicles shared in 67 cities and metros in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Students, faculty and staff can join Zipcar services for a $35 fee. A $35 free driving credit will be applied to all accounts for the first month.
The weekday rates for these cars are $8 hourly and $66 daily. Weekend rates are slightly higher.
Each Zipcar reservation includes gas expenses, insurance, 24-hour roadside assistance and 180 miles of free driving. The Zipcars will be available 24/7 and can be easily reserved online, over the phone or with smartphone applications.
Zipcar is appealing to college campuses because a person only needs to be 18 years old to be eligible to drive one. International students will also be able to access the vehicles without a U.S. driver’s license.
“We are especially excited to cater to first-year and other students who are not able to have vehicles on campus and hope that students may even consider leaving their cars at home. This program has the potential to greatly alleviate our obvious parking problems, as well as to reduce Bucknell’s carbon footprint,” Beck said.