Local News

UNC Students Have New Way to Get Around

Posted August 23, 2007

For most college students, transportation options are limited, and in some cases, challenging.

There's the campus bus service. You can hop on a bike. Or Walk.

But now, students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have another way to get around: The Zipcar.

"We discourage students from bringing cars on campus, as well as the staff and faculty, because we really want to decrease the traffic congestion and improve the air quality," said Claire Kane, UNC-Chapel Hill's Zipcar administrator. "So, we see Zipcar as a key component to help us do that."

Zipcar is part of the "new wave" of car-sharing companies, and UNC-Chapel Hill is one of about 30 universities across the United States partnering with the service.

Drivers sign up online and pay a membership fee. For UNC-Chapel Hill students, it's $35 a year. Then, it's $5 an hour, $55 a day, maximum, and up to 180 miles free of any fuel charges.

Until now, only staff and faculty have used UNC-Chapel Hill's four Zipcars for several years.

Students can now rent the car for an hour, or several hours, and have the freedom of their own ride. They are, however, liable for a $500 deductible insurance fee if they are at fault in an accident involving the vehicle.

"I would use it, that's for sure, because I don't have a car," said student Scott Parker. "It can be a hassle getting around, sometimes, to places that are not on campus. So, I can stop relying on my roommate and rent that car."

4 Comments

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  • bilboid Aug 24, 2007

    WOW what a great idea. Especially for Chapel Hill where they don't need any more cars on the roads !

  • tarheel1980 Aug 24, 2007

    Why do you say it is a subsidized service? Zipcar (www.zipcar.com) is available in locations around the country. Downtown Chicago is available for $7.65 / hour. This is a great story. Leave it to WRAL's readers to look for a negative angle.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Aug 24, 2007

    Instead of paying for more parking lots, UNC is providing one parking space for each Zip Car and someone to do light cleaning and take them for maintance.

    Based on the website, it looks like UNC may be subsidizing $2.50/hr, but charging a $30 premium per year extra.

    UNC deserves credit for trying innovative ways to conserve resources.

  • haggis basher Aug 24, 2007

    Oh great, now we have taxpayers subsidized car rental scheme!

    And the real cheek is that the staff have been able to use it for years. Yes you were paying so that the Profs could have nearly free cars when they want them.