Anyone who has driven in downtown Charlottesville knows what a pain parking is and it's not much better on University of Virginia grounds. But if you're a member of ZipCar, you have wheels to borrow whenever you want them, call it a short term rental for when you need it.
Rebecca White, director of Parking and Transportation at UVA, says, “In this case, you can rent the car, reserve a car by the hour, and maybe have the advantages of car ownership, but not all the expenses of car ownership if you only drive a little bit.”
The car sharing program is launching with 6 cars at 3 spots on grounds: McCormick and University, Alderman and McCormick, and Alderman and Stadium.
White predicts the program will be a success, especially among first years, who aren't allowed to have a car on grounds.
White says, “There are many students emailing me about every 3 months, saying when is car sharing coming to grounds. I can say today, car sharing is on grounds.”
Here's how it works. Go to Zipcar.com, and sign up. Once you're a member, you get a Zipcard, which is your key to ride, just swipe it, and unlock the car. Once you're inside, the key is already there. You just put it in, and you're off.
Zipcar claims you'll be paving the way for a cleaner environment.
Zipcar Spokesperson Matthew Malloy says, “So for every Zipcar that goes on the road, 14 personally owned vehicles come off the road.”
You'll cut traffic, pollution, and kick parking problems to the curb.
If you want to become a member, and you're a student, or you work at UVA, it will cost you $35 a year, and $8 an hour to rent one. Zipcar takes care of gas, insurance, and maintenance.
If you don't work at UVA, you can still become a member for $75.