College adds Zipcars to sustainability drive

Zipcars parkedSUNY Oswego and Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing service, launched a new program that brings two self-service Zipcars to campus.

The service benefits the college by helping to reduce demand for parking and associated congestion while offering students a convenient, economical and environmentally friendly alternative to owning a car. The partnership continues Oswego’s commitment to invest in sustainable solutions on campus and marks Zipcar’s entry into Oswego.

The vehicles, a Toyota Matrix and a Toyota Prius, are available for online reservations. Parking in reserved spaces in the parking lot between Penfield Library and the Campus Center, they are available to all staff and students age 18 and over. Gas, maintenance, insurance and reserved parking are included in low hourly and daily rates.

The partnership with Zipcar is part of the college’s sustainability initiatives, launched when SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007.

“We see this as one of many steps to reduce the campus community’s carbon footprint,” Stanley said. “We have an inherent duty to make the planet a better place, through education, research and actions that support sustainable living.”

Faculty, staff and students can join Zipcar for $35 and can drive for as little as $8 per hour or $66 per day. Local residents age 21 and older can join for $75 ($25 one-time application fee and $50 annual fee). As a special promotion, new members will receive $35 in driving credit when they sign up. All members 21 and over will have access to Zipcar’s network of more than 5,500 vehicles throughout North America and the UK.

“Zipcar is a perfect solution for universities, given that most people who live and work on campus don’t need a car full time,” said Matthew Malloy, vice president of global university operations for Zipcar. “Now, people have access to a car when they need one, without having to bring one to campus.”

The aim is to provide ability to get off campus for errands, entertainment or road trips without the associated cost and hassle of owning a car. Zipcar representatives said members can save an average of $600 per month or $7,200 a year when compared with car ownership.

The service also benefits anyone who bikes, carpools or takes a bus to work by providing access to a car during the day if needed.

Among the dozens of colleges that have partnered with Zipcar to reduce traffic, noise and parking demands are MIT, Columbia, Georgetown, American University, Harvard University, University of Minnesota, University of Toronto, University of North Carolina, University of Chicago, UCLA and Amherst.

To join or learn more about Zipcar at SUNY Oswego, visit

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PHOTO CAPTION: New wheels—Christina Ballesteros, Student Association president, and Andre Fields, former SA vice president, show off the new Zipcars soon after their arrival on campus.

(Posted: Apr 29, 2009)

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