Zip Around Town with Zipcars

zipcarWe all know that driving less frequently is more sustainable. You use less gas and create fewer emissions, but what about those times when you need a car?

For faculty and staff, does the thought of possibly needing to get out somewhere during the day to pick up lunch or take a sick child home keep you from biking, carpooling, or taking the bus to work? Students, do you want to have a car around just in case you need to get groceries or take a date out to the movies, but don’t want to have to pay for a parking pass, plus insurance, plus gas?

There’s a simple answer to these problems that is not only cost effective, it’s also much more environmentally friendly than everyone driving their own car: Zipcars.

Zipcar is a car sharing service that allows members to reserve cars in hourly increments up to a full day. Cars can be reserved online or over the phone days, or even mere minutes ahead of time. To sign up for the program, you need to be over 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license. It only costs $35 per year with a $7 per hour charge when you rent the car. Included in that price is gas, insurance, XM Satellite Radio, 24/7 roadside assistance if you need it, and a reserved parking spot. You can even drive up to 180 miles per day, meaning you could drive from Rochester to Buffalo and back and still have a few miles to spare!

Currently, the University has four cars on the River Campus, a Mazda 3, Toyota Prius, Toyota Matrix, and a Honda Element, all parked on Library Road next to Fauver Stadium. Eastman has a Matrix located in the East End Garage. The program is so popular that another car, a Honda Insight, has just been added at the Medical Center in Whipple Circle. At this time, a fifth car is being considered for the River Campus.

The great thing about Zipcars is that you can reserve one anywhere at any time. This is especially great for students who hail from other areas. If there’s a Zipcar available wherever you are, you can reserve it. This means that for many people, you can have a car on campus and at home, whenever you need it!

The Zipcar program is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint by driving less and reducing the number of cars on the road. It also makes great financial sense, especially if you only need a car occasionally.

For more information about the Zipcar program at the University of Rochester, please visit

To sign up for the program, please visit

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