Wesleyan U. launches Zipcar program

Posted on November 9, 2009

Middletown, Conn.-based Wesleyan University, established in 1831, announced the launch of Zipcar's car-sharing program on campus. The decision to offer Zipcar was driven by the Wesleyan Student Assembly as a service that will help reduce demand for parking and vehicle emissions, while offering a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to bringing a car to campus.

Beginning today two self-service Zipcars — one Honda Insight Hybrid and one Subaru Impreza — will be available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cars will be located in reserved spaces at Allbritton Center and are available to all students and staff ages 18 and over. Gas, insurance, 180 free miles, reserved parking and roadside assistance are included in low hourly and daily rates.

Students and staff can join Zipcar for personal use for $35 and can drive for as little as $8 per hour or $66 per day weekdays and $9 per hour or $72 per day on weekends. They will also get $35 in free driving credit as part of a launch promotion. Local residents ages 21 and older can join for $75 ($25 one-time application fee and $50 annual fee). All members 21 and over will have access to Zipcar's network of more than 6,500 vehicles throughout the U.K. and North America.

Wesleyan students, who are dedicated to making the campus more sustainable, reducing carbon emissions, and providing alternative transportation options on campus led the campaign to bring Zipcar to campus, and will play a large part in ensuring its broad use.

"The Wesleyan Student Assembly is committed to finding innovative and sustainable ways for students to get off campus," said Student Body President Michael Pernick, a senior.

"This program offers many exciting advantages but I am most impressed by the environmental/sustainability advantages that will result. Students will have less reason to bring a car to campus and instead will be able to use a hybrid car for those times that they truly need to use a car," said John Meerts, VP, Finance and Administration. "Not only students, but the entire Wesleyan community can take advantage of the Zipcar program. We appreciate the initiative that the Wesleyan Student Assembly took to bring this program to campus and to help support it."

For universities, Zipcar offers a practical and proven solution to managing demand for parking, reducing congestion and emissions and adding a lifestyle-oriented service to campus. Studies have shown the cost of a single parking spot ranges from $4,000 to $40,000 per spot, depending on whether it's an outdoor surface lot or underground garage, according to a statement released by Zipcar.  Since each Zipcar replaces 14 personally-owned vehicles, a university could reduce the need for up to 28 spots costing up to $1.1 million by just putting two Zipcars on campus.

The company, which has been offering campus car sharing since 2002, now has programs at more than 140 colleges and universities across the country. Among the dozens of colleges that have partnered with Zipcar to reduce traffic, noise and parking demands are MIT, Columbia, Georgetown, American University, University of Michigan, Harvard University, University of Minnesota, University of Toronto, University of North Carolina, The University of Chicago, and UCLA.

More information about Zipcar at Wesleyan University is available online at:

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