A few years ago, I read an article in the Dispatch about OSU banning cars on campus – even west campus – for freshmen. I know that would have made getting home to Worthington Hills a pain for me, and even more for my parents, who might have been willing to come pick me up on occasion. Feeling sorry for the poor incoming freshmen, including my younger sister, I e-mailed a contact at Transportation and Parking and suggested car-sharing as a relatively new transportation alternative that could help mitigate what would likely be a pretty significant inconvenience for a lot of students. So although I no longer have the e-mail to prove it, I like to think that I somehow played a small role in OSU’s growing Zipcar service.
OSU campus abuzz over Zipcar rentals
Fleet expected to grow with demand
Monday, April 21, 2008 3:09 AM
By Kathy Lynn Gray
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
…Zipcar (Web site) is a nationwide company that posts cars on campuses and in urban areas for members to use for an hourly fee. Thirteen are scattered across the OSU campus, each in a designated parking spot next to a bright-orange metal pole that’s easy to spot.
Users reserve vehicles online and charge the $9-an-hour cost to a credit card. Member-access cards unlock the cars.
The program started at OSU through another company, Flexcar, in August. Flexcar later merged with Zipcar, and the expanded company took the Zipcar name.
At OSU, 148 students and 34 faculty and staff members are Zipcar members, said Doug Lape, the school’s executive assistant to the director of transportation and parking services. Membership is $35 a year for students and staff and faculty members and $50 for others. Members, who must be 21 or older, can use any of Zipcar’s 5,000 vehicles nationwide.
“We’ve got a lot of excitement on campus about it,” Lape said.
Gasoline, insurance, campus parking and maintenance are included in the hourly charge. OSU employees clean the cars and fill them with gas each week.
…”People are starting to see this works and there’s a demand,” Lape said. He predicts that the OSU fleet will grow to 30 or 40 as more people become familiar with car-sharing.
Thirty-eight members rented Zipcars in January, 63 in March and 32 in the first 16 days of April, Lape said. The vehicles are being rented 8.5 percent of the time.
The article also mentions that The Ohio Staters have started a bike-sharing program, which is just as cool.
Having Zipcars on campus is one more way that OSU is pushing alternatives to student cars, Lape said. Another cropped up last week: bicycles that students can borrow at no cost from the Recreation and Physical Activity Center.
The Ohio Staters, a student-faculty organization, started the program Tuesday with 10 canary-yellow bicycles donated by Schwinn. The group has 10 more Schwinns to add once issues with bike locks are sorted out, said Knight, one of the organizers of what’s been dubbed Buckeye Bikes.
On the first day, all 10 bikes were checked out by 10:30 a.m., Knight said.
Related: Zipcar Reviews