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Campus car sharing revs up

October 27, 2006

Photo of student Breanna Sheets, an avid Zipcar user, next to one of the cars available on campusStudents, faculty and staff who are 21 and older, who either don't own a car or don't want to bring a car to campus now have a new transportation option: a self-service, fully automated car sharing program with Zipcar. The program at SF State is the company's first partnership with a Bay Area college or university. SF State joins more than 30 colleges and universities in North America who are looking to Zipcar to help reduce traffic, noise and parking congestion.

"Car sharing provides the opportunity for students, faculty and staff who don't have cars to leave campus and accomplish something they couldn't do with public transportation, such as run errands, get groceries or handle an emergency," said Kirk Gaston, acting chief of the SF State Department of Public Safety.

Car sharing is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to privately owned automobiles or car rental. "Zipcar is excited to partner with a forward-thinking university," said Dan Shifrin, Zipcar regional vice president. "As we have seen with other university partners, both the number of personally owned cars on campus, and overall car usage will decline which is good for the environment, the surrounding community and the University."

Based on early membership uptake and feedback, both the University and Zipcar are pleased with the initial response. The program will add additional vehicles to its SF State fleet as demand requires.

All students, faculty, staff and University departments are eligible to enroll and have access to the campus Zipcars -- a Toyota Prius Hybrid or Mazda 3 -- as well as nearly 200 Zipcars in the Bay area and in all Zipcar cities. Annual membership is $25 -- a discount of $50 over the company's regular joining fees for San Francisco. Members can use a Zipcar for as little as $7.50 an hour including gas, insurance, reserved parking at SF State and other benefits such as free XM satellite radio. Members must be age 21 or older and have a safe driving record. For details, visit Zipcar's SF State site or the company's main Web site.

Zipcar launched San Francisco service in September 2005 and has since built the area's largest car-sharing fleet. With 70,000 consumer and business drivers, Zipcar is North America's largest car-sharing service. The company operates more than 1,800 vehicles in 12 states and provinces, including metropolitan New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Toronto and Washington, D.C. Zipcar has the largest university program of any car sharing service, with nearly 12,000 active student and faculty members. Among the schools that have partnered with Zipcar to reduce traffic, noise and parking demands are MIT, Harvard, Boston College, Columbia, Princeton, Georgetown, Howard, Rutgers, American, Harvard University, University of Minnesota and University of North Carolina.

-- Matt Itelson


San Francisco State University

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Last modified October 27, 2006 by University Communications