Car-sharing "zips" onto campus

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Zipcar program makes Rowan debut.

Zipcar, an international car-sharing service, formally arrived at Rowan Jan. 25 with a welcome event behind the Chamberlain Student Center.

The service brings an affordable transportation option to campus and encourages residential students to leave cars home.

Zipcar members who join through the Rowan program pay a discounted $25 membership fee this year and those who sign up before March 12th can receive a limited time $40 driving credit. Then, for as little as $7/hour or $66/day, they may reserve and drive a Zipcar. Gas, insurance, reserved parking spots, up to 180 miles of driving per day, and roadside assistance are included.

Rowan Vice President of Facilities and Operations Mike Harris, whose office was instrumental in bringing the program to campus, said the concept of car-sharing is popular in cities and universities across the U.S. and makes sense here too.

"We had a pool of cars that we were able to get rid of," Harris said. "Now, if our students, faculty or staff need a car, they can have one for just $7 per hour."

He said the program has been proven to reduce the number of cars on campuses and, in so doing, has helped reduce congestion and tailpipe emissions.

Rowan encourages sustainability – from high-efficiency LED lighting to all-electric utility vehicles to an award-winning recycling program. Research conducted by Zipcar indicates that for every auto they provide to a campus there are an average of 15 fewer as students, faculty and staff leave their cars home.

"The Zipcar program will work hand-in-hand with our other sustainability efforts," Harris said.

The nascent Rowan Zipcar program has two vehicles – a Nissan Sentra and a Ford Focus – and more could be added if demand is strong.

Joseph Catenaci, 24, a senior history major from Egg Harbor Township and a member of the RU Green Team – an environmental action group – said the Zipcar program makes sense, especially for students who do not have access to a car.

"Car sharing helps reduce one's carbon footprint and we support that," Catenaci said.

Junior Ilianna Soto, a math/education double major, said she registered for Zipcar because she doesn't keep a car on campus.

"I'll use it for shopping, to run errands, to get groceries," said Soto, 20, of Teaneck. "They're nice cars, and I won't mind driving them."

To become a member, join at www.zipcar.com/rowan.

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