Zipcar Races To VCU Campuses

September 23, 2010

By Marcos Chappell

RICHMOND, Va. — Officials with Parking and Transportation at Virginia Commonwealth University did some quick thinking to help alleviate car congestion on one of the state’s most populated campuses.

VCU, meet Zipcar.

The environmentally-friendly car rental service allows students, faculty, and the Richmond community to rent a vehicle without the traditional service desk and with hourly rates.

“It’s pretty affordable it’s only $8 an hour or $66 a day,” said Travis
Walker, VCU sophomore and Zipcar Member.

“It’s pretty reasonable. I
think versus owning a car with all the fees associated with that,
parking and the increasing insurance premiums. I think it’s worth it.”

Students can join Zipcar online
at their Web site. After joining for an initial $35 fee, students can
reserve a car online.  Then each Zipcar member carries an activated
card, which allows them to get into a car by putting their card over
the windshield.

The cars have prime parking spaces on both
campuses. On the Monroe Park campus, the cars are near the Cabell
Library. On the MCV campus, the cars are near the VCU Barnes and Noble.

Three out of the four Zipcar vehicles at VCU are hybrids. Paul Walker, manager of Parking and Transportation, says the Zipcar’s value expands further than transportation purposes.

a cost savings and an energy savings,” Walker said. “They’re smart-way
vehicles. The hybrids will be saving more than your the smart ways. And
on top of that, energy is coming because you’re not driving as many
cars around campus as if you’re bringing your won cars.”
Zipcar was founded in Cambridge Massachusettes with the first cars appearing
around Boston in 2000. Now Zipcars are available in over sixty cities
worldwide with over 400,000 members.