Local News

UNC Students Have New Way to Get Around

Posted August 23, 2007 7:17 p.m. EDT
Updated August 23, 2007 7:21 p.m. EDT

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."