Sacramento State is joining the greater Sacramento community in bringing car sharing to the region.
The car-sharing network Zipcar has placed 10 cars at five sites around the city. When Sacramento State begins its 2011-12 school year in August, there will be an additional two Zipcars at the residence halls.
Participants sign up online and pay an annual fee – $35 for students and $50 for everyone else, plus a $25 application fee. When they need a set of wheels for as little as an hour or up to four days, they reserve the auto via the Internet or mobile device, use their Zipcard to access the vehicle and drive off.
Zipcar vehicles are available 24 hours a day with gas, insurance, parking, maintenance and up to 180 miles of driving per day included in the membership.
The program is part of a systemwide agreement between California State University and Zipcar, says Gina Lombardo, director of University Transportation and Parking Administration. “UTAPS (University Transportation and Parking Services) thought it would be a great service to provide our students,” Lombardo says.
There are already more than 230 college campuses nationwide that have Zipcar programs, says Dan Grossman, Zipcars regional vice president for the West Coast and a Sac State alumnus.
With only 686 of the residence halls’ 1,550 students bringing their vehicles to school with them, the program could be very popular here. “It’s a proven concept that specifically makes sense for universities such as Sacramento State that have a large student population,” says Grossman.
Even though students are the target audience for Zipcars, they’ll be available for faculty, staff and other members of the public.
Sacramento State is something of a commuter hub, Grossman says, with its public transit transfer station on the north end of campus. If a professor or staff member takes the bus to campus, or a commuter gets off there, they can use the Zipcar to run errands, especially to areas not directly served by public transit.
The company has more than 8,000 vehicles worldwide and 560,000 “Zipsters” using them, and Sacramento State’s quota can always be increased. “If the program works, it’s not a challenge to add more vehicles,” Grossman says.
More information about Zipcars is available at www.zipcar.com. For information about Sacramento State’s program, call UTAPS at (916) 278-7275.