Having a car on campus can be a pain. First of all, there’s the cost, especially considering the high cost of gas–plus insurance, maintenance, and parking fees. In addition, on many campuses, parking can be a serious pain. When I taught at Indiana University, where the parking situation was horrible, students regularly worked in the price of parking tickets into their annual budget! And even if having a car isn’t a pain, these days people are becoming more and more aware of the environmental costs of driving.
So here’s a solution that some college campuses are implementing: the Zip Car! This is a car students (and others on campus) can rent for an hourly or daily fee. The price of the rental includes gas and insurance, and usually a prime parking space on campus. This way, students can have a car to run errands, get away for the evening, or to make a short visit home–without the hassle of keeping a car on campus. By implementing the Zip Car program, colleges and universities hope to reduce the number of cars on campus, along with the corresponding traffic and parking issues.
Here’s a very informative news segment about the Zip Car.