Friday, September 07, 2007

ZipCar Comes to Midd

For the uninitiated (as announced via school-wide email today), ZipCar provides easily rentable cars at cheap-ish rates on-campus. Essentially, you join their network, you reserve a car online, you pick up the car at a specified location, and drive. ZipCar has been particularly successful in big cities where people don't want to own a car but want to have the convenience of having a car available should they need it. For universities, the premise is the same. Add in some "green" benefits, convenience and presto, you've got a popular thing going.

Amherst College led the way on this with two ZipCars last year. Over there, they rent for $7 an hour or $55 a day. At Middlebury, we rent for $8 an hour or $60 a day. We have two Toyota Prius vehicles (one red, one blue -- so new they have no license plates) for rent to go to Burlington for a day, or to pick up friends coming in on the train in Rutland, or just heading over to Vergennes for a nice meal at Black Sheep. A reduction of personal cars on campus might, maybe just maybe, go down over a few years (and if the school implements a parking fee...).
Today, I ran into three different staff members (around Proctor parking -- where the cars are parked) asking me what the new cars were all about. Interest seems high but that probably isn't enough to make this successful. So spread the word! Zipcar is here.

[Midd press release]

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on the books...