Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Long overdue: Car sharing considered for Ann Arbor
U-M promotes car sharing
Ann Arbor News
By Dave Gershman
The University of Michigan wants to bring car sharing to campus in time for next fall, hoping to sign a deal with a national company like Zipcar, Inc. . . .
Companies like Zipcar rent cars by the hour to members, who make arrangements over the Internet and use a credit card-like key to pick up the car from a designated parking lot. Gas is covered by the company and drivers don't need their own basic insurance. When they're done, they leave the car in the same spot they found it. . . .
Car sharing would be attractive to people who'd rather not drive to campus, Miller said, but feel they need to drive because they might need quick access to car - such as the staff member who has to dash across the city for a lunchtime meeting. Some students bring cars to Ann Arbor
but only use them to get away on weekends, he said.
Car sharing would take some vehicles off the city's roadways, Miller said. The service is part of U-M's attempt to discourage students from bringing cars to campus and to encourage more employees to commute by bus or carpool, he said. . . .
Mary Sienko, marketing manager at the University of Minnesota parking and transportation services, said while the university hasn't conducted a user survey, she believes the car sharing service is attractive to a wide range of people.
"You might think the only people who would be interested are people who are very environmentally conscious, but it's not like that,'' Sienko said.
Since the program began in January, 106 people have become members, she said. They like the convenience of having access to a car, but don't want the hassle or expense of owning one, she said.