Campus News

Bowdoin to Provide Zipcar Service for Students, Employees and the Community

Story posted August 26, 2008

Bowdoin College has partnered with Zipcar, the world's largest car-sharing service, to offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the challenges of having a car on campus. Two Zipcars — an energy-efficient Honda Civic Hybrid and Honda CRV — will be available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by students, faculty, staff and community members who become Zipcar members.

The cars will be located at 6-8 College Street, on the west side of the Russwurm House lot. These spots are clearly visible, well lit, and will be easy to access.

"Zipcar offers a wonderful way for Bowdoin students, faculty and staff to take cars off the road and reduce our carbon footprint," says Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster.

"Beginning with the Class of 2013, first-year students will no longer be able to have cars on campus and Zipcar will provide an inexpensive and convenient alternative for them and for our upper-class students, faculty and staff. Thanks to Zipcar, over time I expect we'll see fewer students with cars and more one car families."

Membership requires an acceptable driving record, an application fee of $25 (the fee will be waived for Bowdoin students and employees) and an annual membership fee of $35.

Zipcars in their spaces in the Russwurm House parking lot

Drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 will be able to use the cars located at Bowdoin, while Zipcar members over 21 will have access to the more than 5,500 vehicles at other Zipcar locations throughout more than 50 cities in North America and the UK.

Zipcar members will be able to reserve any Zipcar for the low price of $7 per hour or $60 per day with gas, maintenance, insurance and reserved parking all included in these rates.

Many students who have cars at Bowdoin say their cars mostly sit in the parking lots.

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For these students, as well as those who cannot or do not want to bring a privately owned car to school, Zipcar provides the freedom to travel away from campus to attend interviews, volunteer in the community, run errands or take a weekend trip.

Zipcar offers convenience while also eliminating hundreds of dollars in monthly transportation costs, saving members an average of $436 per month or $5,232 per year when compared with car ownership.

Zipcar estimates that each Zipcar replaces 15-20 privately owned vehicles. That could mean 30-40 fewer cars at Bowdoin.

Additional benefits of the Zipcar program:

  • Older cars are replaced with new ones that have more stringent pollution controls
  • Green space is preserved as fewer parking spaces are required to meet the driving needs of the same number of people
  • Less strain on urban parking infrastructure — saving businesses, governments and colleges money
  • Lower fuel consumption means fewer greenhouse gas emissions and particulates
  • Less congestion on the roads

About Zipcar

Zipcar is the world's leading car-sharing service with 225,000 members and 5,500 vehicles in urban areas and college campuses throughout 28 North American states and provinces as well as in London, England.

As a leader in urban transportation, Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles by the hour or day to savvy city residents and businesses looking for an alternative to the high costs and hassles of owning a car in the city.

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