Zipcar car-sharing provides students with another transportation option

September 19, 2017

Aspen Harris

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     On Aug. 28, UCCS has entered a two-year contract with Zipcar, the world’s leading car-sharing network.

    Zipcar is a car-sharing service that gives students the ability to get around UCCS and travel off campus for a few hours or for as long as seven days.

    The transportation option is available for those 18 years or older at any time.

    Once students sign up for Zipcar, they are mailed a “Zipcard,” a card that unlocks the reserved vehicle when held up to the car’s windshield.

    Students can rent two vehicles for their transportation needs: a Ford Focus named “Fleming” and a Ford Escape named “Mannie.”

    Students can sign up to use Zipcar for a $15 fee and rent “Mannie” for $8.50 an hour or $77 a day, or “Fleming” for $7.50 an hour or $69 a day. The fees cover gas, maintenance, insurance and travel for 180 miles. After participating in the program for a year, members will pay an additional fee of $25.

    Students must return the cars on time and in clean condition, refrain from smoking in the car, keep any pets in a carrier and leave the car with a full tank of gas. Damages must be paid by the student.

    “We’re definitely excited to see Zipcar on campus and will do everything we can to get the word out to the campus community about its availability,” said Jim Spice, executive director of Parking and Transportation Services.

     Prior to UCCS’ contract with Zipcar, the campus had a similar car-sharing contract with U-Haul, but Zipcar is the largest campus car-sharing provider, serving campuses across the country.

    According to Katelyn Chesley, public relations specialist for Zipcar, the company provides transportation at more than 600 colleges and universities spread across over 500 North American cities and towns.

    The service is a more efficient way of going to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment for those who don’t own a car, Chesley said.

    “With over one million members, we are constantly growing our community to help more people live car-free or car-lite, making not only their lives easier, but also making cities and college campuses less congested and more sustainable,” said Chesley.

    Zipcar is also an economical transportation resource, according to Chesley. Members save an average of $600 a month on gas, and Zipcar will also cover other expenses.

    “We cover insurance, car maintenance and gas so students can enjoy the benefits of having a car on campus without the hassle of owning one,” Chesley said.

    Freshmen living on campus are already encouraged by the university to come to UCCS without a car. Sustainable Transportation, a segment of Parking and Transportation Services, provides 25 freshmen with a free bicycle if they agree to leave their cars at home when they move on campus.

    UCCS offers other incentives for commuters to forego regularly driving to, from and around campus. Still, students appreciate the opportunity to use a car if they need to.

    “Not having a car made me feel like I couldn’t leave at all, but with Zipcar I can now leave whenever I need to for a reasonable place,” said Ortiz.

    Freshman nursing major Brooke Van Lew echoed Ortiz’s sentiment.

    “Zipcar is an amazing transportation program for those who don’t have cars. I think it’s a great opportunity for those who need to get around,” said Van Lew.       

    Other transportation options are available to students, including bicycle sharing through the S.O.L.E office and free public transit with the Mountain Metro city bus. Campus shuttles also take students to and from University Hall, main campus, Parking Lot 576 and the Lodges, among other destinations.

    Students can sign up for the car-sharing service at