ZipCars drive onto campus come January

ZipCar, a car rental service, has signed a contract with Seton Hall to bring cars to campus for student use starting early in the Spring 2011 semester.

“The car can be used to run to Pathmark or to take a weekend trip,” Jas Verem, associate director of Housing and Residence Life, said.

The University signed the contact with ZipCar in October, and the cars will be available for Seton Hall’s use in January following winter break.

ZipCar, according to Verem, is a car sharing service that is different from traditional car rental.

“With ZipCar you pay as you go. You can use and pay for an hour, day, week. Another major difference is that ZipCar can be used by students 18 and older,” he said.

Verem said due to the parking situation at Seton Hall, ZipCar is a good alternative for many students.

“Given our parking restrictions as well as restrictions on when students can have their cars on campus it made sense to offer students a service where they can have a car on campus and use it when they want it and for how long they need it,” Verem said.

Rates vary depending on how long a student wishes to rent a car.

Before they can use the cars, students will need to open an account and get a membership with ZipCar online at www.zipcar.com/registration. Membership is $30 per year.

Once an account is opened, students will receive a membership card which they will need to use to access and unlock the cars. A free gas card is also included.

Currently, the University’s contract is for two cars, a Toyota Prius and a Scion. There are two parking spots designated for the cars outside of the Rec Center.

According to Verem, if the demand for vehicles is large enough, the University is willing to alter the contract to allow for more ZipCars on campus.

Verem also stressed Seton Hall is doing this in student interest. The program will change depending on student reactions.

“If there is a demand for it by our community, we will keep the program, if there is not we will re-evaluate,” he said. “This service will be here for a while.”

According to Verem, there has already been notable student interest in the cars.

“I think that it is great,” senior Varkha Tilani said. “Especially since we don’t have good transportation here considering that train station is at least a ten minute walk and you can’t rely on the SHUfly. It is just better to have a car available to you.”

According to the ZipCar website car sharing at universities “makes a lot of sense.”

“By letting students and faculty drive only when they need or want to, you’re reducing on-campus congestion, as well as lowering your school’s carbon footprint,” the website adds. “The low and all-inclusive hourly and daily rates mean that the service is affordable for everyone.”

There are over 100 ZipCar universities nation-wide including two in New Jersey other than Seton Hall, Drew University and Monmouth University.

There is no cost to the University to keep ZipCars on campus.

Alyana Alfaro can be reached at alyana.alfaro@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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