September 30, 2010
Zipcar offers UNM students the freedom of owning a car without associated costs and hassles, yet some students are unaware that the service is available.
UNM partners with the national car-sharing service, Zipcar, cars that are available 24 hours a day for students 18 and older to use for as short as an hour or as long as four days.
Danielle Gilliam, UNM’s Parking and Transportation Services’ alternative transportation coordinator, said the service is supplemental to public transit.
“Some people also need to be able to have the flexibility and convenience of getting in a car and going to an appointment or running errands, and Zipcar gives you that flexibility,” she said.
Colleges nationwide have partnered with Zipcar, Gilliam said, and UNM started the program in
January 2008. She said UNM membership has grown to 350 members.
Not all students have taken advantage of the program, however.
Student Brennan Artrip said she is not a Zipcar member, even though it’s a good alternative transportation option.
“All I know is that they get the best parking spots, but it seems like a decent idea,” she said.
Zipcar membership costs $35 a year, while car use runs $8 per hour, and that includes gas, 180 miles allocated per day, insurance, reserved parking spots and roadside assistance, according to a company statement.
Gilliam said she recommends using the Zipcar program instead of paying to park a personal car. She said the Zipcar service is automated and car use can be scheduled online minutes or months in advance.
“If you use the Zipcar, you are only paying for a car when you are actually using it,” she said.
“It’s had an increase of 100 members in this past year, and as the program continues to grow, we will get more Zipcars on campus,” Gilliam said.
Cars include a Honda CRV in A Lot, a Honda Civic hybrid at Coronado Hall and a Toyota Prius Behind Dane Smith Hall, Gilliam said.
Student Max Cotton said he likes that Zipcars are eco-friendly.
“It seems like a good idea because the less cars that are on the road, the less emissions per person, which is better for everyone,” he said. “It’s also awesome that they’re hybrids. This program is definitely something I would want to get in on.”