Zipcar Brings Car Sharing to State College

If you need a car but you don’t want to own one or rent one, you’re in luck. Starting tomorrow, car sharing service Zipcar will be available in State College.

This means that you, the students, won’t need to worry about ripping your wallet open for a parking pass or stashing your car in West Bumblefuck, State College some middle-of-nowhere location, just for the few occasions that you’ll need to drive while at Penn State.

Zipcar will be located downtown at Beaver Parking Garage, the Beaver Lot, and the McAllister Parking Deck, with an offering of five vehicles: the Ford Focus, Ford Escape, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, and Toyota Prius. Rates start at $7.50 an hour or $69 a day, according to Lindsey Hannon, one of UPUA’s liaisons with Zipcar.

Zipcar’s communications coordinator CJ Himberg believes that car sharing will serve as a “convenient and cost-effective” transportation alternative for students.

“Having a Zipcar program nearby provides new levels of freedom — to run errands, go shopping, take a day trip, or even attend job interviews or internships,” says Himberg.

If you need a car for more than just a quick trip to the grocery store, the daily fee of $69 a day flat fee includes free gas, insurance*, and up to 180 miles a day. You can drive anywhere in the U.S. (and even to Canada, if you’re into that) but you’re not allowed to drive to Mexico, if you were going to plan a weekend escapade to Cancun.

*If you’re 21 or older, Zipcar will insure damages from $750 to $300,000.

To use the car share, you reserve a car online and unlock it using your Zipcard, which is sent to you after you apply for and are approved for a Zipcar account. You then retrieve the keys from inside the car — which are kept in a “super-secret spot” (Zipcar’s words, not mine) — and then you’re good to drive to wherever you need to go.

UPUA is expected to introduce legislation endorsing Zipcar at its meeting tonight, according to Facilities Chair Jeffrey Holzer, because it offers another means of travel for its constituents while alleviating community problems such as traffic congestion and parking scarcity.

“We are in support of [Zipcar] coming downtown to provide alternative means of travel for students and residents,” Holzer said.

Pretty cool — we finally know that Penn State Lives Here, but now we know that Zipcars Live Here, too.

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Bobby Chen

Writer and photographer, helping tell the many stories of the Penn State community.

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