ZipCar available at Fanshawe
Credit: JESSICA THOMPSON
ZipCar is a quick and efficient way to get around London; cars are located in the residence parking lot.
Students now have another option with a new student car share program, ZipCar, rolling onto the Fanshawe College Campus. The cars will have their own spot in the school’s parking lot, so students can do their errands in between classes, such as going grocery shopping with a group of people. They can also use the program to explore the city.
According to the ZipCar website, there are four steps in order to use this method of transportation.
1. Apply online for a ZipCar.
2. Reserve a ZipCar for a couple of hours or an entire day which students can do online or using their cellphone.
3. Walk to the car and unlock it by putting the Zipcard administered at registration to the windshield for a few seconds.
4. Drive away and return the car to the same reserved spot once the drive is completed.
Mary-Lee Townsend, Fanshawe’s sustainability coordinator, said ZipCar is an efficient method of transportation for students.
“It’s supposed to help reduce the amount of people that feel like they really need to have single occupancy vehicles,” she said.
Townsend noticed parking is becoming a problem for the college and said the challenge will get bigger with a growing number of students.
“We’re really going to have to start thinking about alternative ways to get around and this will be part of it.”
Car share programs are becoming more common in London. Western University uses the Student Car- Share program, which charges $6 per hour.
Uber also arrived in London this past August. Townsend said ZipCar is different than Uber because you are driving the car yourself.
“When you are renting a vehicle, you have to get yourself to the rental company. You have to provide insurance, you have to pay for gas and all of that stuff,” she said, adding
ZipCar covers all the extra costs for their members.
ZipCar is not the first carpooling program at Fanshawe. Last year, the college used Student CarShare, which Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) VP of internal affairs, Tabatha Rosborough, said was a great success because there was a decrease in parking and parking complaints.
“It also helps with sustainability on campus, we’re really trying to advocate environmental awareness this year,” she said.
The FSU will bring in environmentally friendly initiatives such as Wasteless Wednesday, Get Caught Recycling and a fall bike fair where students receive free safety gear, helmets and locks for their bicycle.
Rosborough also incorporates environmental awareness in her own life. She carpools with a colleague to and from the college and says the student body should look into similar options because “It’s all about efficiency, it’s all about streamlining their ability to get to class on time and the more people who car share, that’s more people who are determined to be on time with their colleagues.”
She said ZipCar also helps students with budgeting and saving money.
“Not everybody has the $4 entry fee for parking per day to get in, so people who can ride share who are in the same classes definitely get the added advantage of not spending that extra amount of money.”
It costs $20 each year for a student membership with ZipCar. The program is also available to faculty, alumni and staff for $35. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit zipcar.ca/fanshawecollege.