No car? No problemJanuary 24, 2012

In a joint effort to help Rockhurst University and University of Missouri-Kansas City students become more mobile, the schools have teamed with Zipcar Inc. to provide an affordable transportation alternative to owning a car.

Zipcar, which already has established programs in major US cities as well as programs in Canada and the United Kingdom, is taking a new approach to transportation by letting its members check out  a car only for as long as it’s needed.

“We see Zipcar as a great opportunity to bridge the two university communities while helping reduce our carbon footprint,” said Matt Heinrich, associate vice president for facilities and technology at Rockhurst. “We’re pleased to introduce Zipcar as a complementary environmental solution to those that exist on campus that will encourage carpooling within the campus community and offer relief to parking congestion on neighboring city streets.”

 To reserve a car, students will have to first sign up for the service through zipcar.com. Rockhurst students will pay $25 for membership their first year and a $35 annual membership fee from then on.

 Rockhurst and UMKC students will have access to two vehicles: Flora, a Ford Focus sedan, and Plew, a Toyota Prius. Hourly rates for Flora are $7 during the week and $8 on the weekend. Hourly rates for Plew are $8 during the week and $9 during the weekend. Members can also reserve the cars for $66 a day during the week and $72 a day for the weekend.

The annual membership fee and hourly rate covers insurance, gas and the first 180 miles of travel. Additional fees apply for going over mileage and a pretty steep fee of $50 per hour for bringing the car back late. Zipcar suggests booking the car for an extra half hour if there is any doubt you will be late.

Zipcar is also making it easier for students to use the service. Reservations can be made any time either on the Web or through their Android and iPhone apps. These apps will also allow you to lock and unlock the reserved vehicle as well as honk the horn to help locate it.

“We are thrilled to welcome the UMKC  and Rockhurst University communities to the Zipcar University program, and are excited to help both universities offer cost-effective, convenient and sustainable transportation options for students, faculty and staff,” said Michael Serafino, general manager, Zipcar Universities. “Zipcar is an environmentally friendly transportation alternative, and it’s been proven that each car shared removes at least 15 privately owned vehicles from the road, thereby cutting down on emissions and congestion. 

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