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Campus car-sharing program launches

Two cars that have been parked in reserved spots on campus for the past few weeks are now available to drive as the University launches its car-sharing program — Connect by Hertz. Students, faculty and staff who register as members of Connect by Hertz can reserve one of the cars for an hour, a day or up to a week at a time.

There are a number of reasons the University has implemented the program, according to Peter Napolitano, director of auxiliary services, not the least of which is the impact on the environment.

“Connect by Hertz estimates that each of their shared cars eliminates the need for as many as 14 vehicles on the road,” he said. “That makes parking on campus easier while reducing overall emissions and using less gas.”

And registering is easy. To join, drivers must be 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.

The standard membership fee is being waived for the first year for those who use the promotional code — 1597822 for faculty and staff, and 1872956 for students. After an individual registers online, a Connect by Hertz membership card will be sent that provides access to the shared cars when an individual reserves driving time via phone or the Internet.

Once a car is reserved, the member simply heads to its location between the Nelson Rockefeller Building and the Visitors Paid Lot, swipes the membership card over the reader located on the lower left windshield to unlock the car and has the use of the car for the period of time it has been reserved.

Gas, roadside assistance and insurance are all taken care of by Connect by Hertz. Members simply pay the hourly charges, which start as low as $8 an hour and include 180 miles per day, and return the car to its starting location. Additional fees are charged for things such as returning a car late or mileage overruns.

The Student Association is behind the program, and is actively promoting it to students. Elahd Bar-Shai, chair of the Student Assembly, has been working toward establishing a car-sharing program for over a year and is actively promoting it.

“I lived on campus for three years and getting around the area isn’t as easy as some might think,” he said. “This gives students without a car their freedom. It balances a car culture with a greener way to do things.”

The campus currently has available two Connect by Hertz cars — both Toyota Prius hybrids.

“The cars we have for the campus are not part of the Toyota recall,” Napolitano said, “but we are replacing one of the Prius vehicles with another model.”

To register or learn more about the Connect by Hertz program, visit http://www.connectbyhertz.com/about/howitworks.aspx.

 

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Last Updated: 10/14/08