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Published: Mon, January 20, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

KSU partners with Zipcar to offer car-sharing program

Staff report

kent

Kent State University launched a partnership with Zipcar Inc., the world’s leading car-sharing network, to offer a Zipcar car-sharing program on its Kent campus.

The convenient transportation option is now available at an affordable rate 24 hours a day, seven days a week for students, faculty and staff age 18 and older, as well as members of the local community age 21 and older.

Kent State initially will offer four vehicles — two 2014 Ford Focus vehicles, a Toyota Prius and a Kia Soul.

The vehicles will be located on campus in the R-3 Baumgardner Circle parking lot, which is behind the Terrace Hall Annex, and the R-6 Fletcher Hall parking lot. Zipcars are available on-demand and can be easily reserved and accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This year, Kent State members can join for $25, with rates for Zipcar vehicles on campus starting as low as $7.50 per hour and $69 per day.

After the first year, members will pay an annual membership fee of $35. Gas, insurance, a reserved parking spot and up to 180 miles of driving per day are included in Zipcar rates, and cars can be reserved for as little as an hour or for multiple days.

Kent State students, faculty and staff can join Zipcar at www.zipcar.com/kent.

“Bringing Zipcar to campus is about providing transportation options to students,” said Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager at Kent State. “We work to make the campus more walkable and bikeable, provide free PARTA [Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority] bus service and free bike sharing. Car sharing is another piece of the puzzle, and it may allow some students to avoid bringing a car to campus.”

Participating members with smartphones, including iPhones and Android devices, may download the Zipcar mobile application to make reservations, lock and unlock the vehicles and honk the horn to help locate the vehicle. Reservations also can be made over the phone or on Zipcar’s website.

“Zipcar will give the Kent State community the freedom and flexibility to attend job interviews and participate in off-campus activities like internships without the hassle of owning a car,” said Katelyn Lopresti, general manager for Zipcar University. “At the same time, students, faculty and staff members alike can be proud that they are reducing the carbon footprint of their campus by using alternative transportation methods like car sharing.”

With the new Zipcar program available on campus, student organizations at Kent State also now have the opportunity to participate in the “Students with Drive” grant program sponsored by Zipcar and Ford Motor Co., which provides students with Zipcar membership and driving credit to support student organizations on campus.


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