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Zipcar Rental Program Comes To San Diego State University

Three hybrid Honda Insights are parked on San Diego State University campus on Dec. 9, 2009. They are part of the new Zipcar program designed to reduce campus congestion.
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Above: Three hybrid Honda Insights are parked on San Diego State University campus on Dec. 9, 2009. They are part of the new Zipcar program designed to reduce campus congestion.

San Diego State University has become the latest college to offer the Zipcar rental service. The program is intended to reduce pollution and car expenses.

The Zipcar program is being used in more than 100 colleges and major cities in the U.S.

Now San Diego State University students, faculty and staff have access to the car-sharing program on the campus.

Simply reserve online, let yourself in with your Zipcard and drive. The hourly and daily rates include gas and insurance.

Students need to be at least 18 years old to join. People 21 years and older can use the program throughout the world.

Grant Mack is SDSU's Associated Students green commissioner and chair of the Green Love Board. He says the program reduces the amount of cars on the campus and gives students access to cars when they need them.

"It won't be that they will have to store a car and pay for a parking spot within a parking structure," said Mack. "They'll be able to save money and it's also good for the environment because it's better to have, say 24 students use one car within a 24-hour period, instead of having 24 cars on campus driving around everywhere."

There are three hybrid Honda Insights parked in reserved spots at a campus parking lot now and two more Zipcars will be available at another SDSU location next year.

Blackberry Zipcar applications are available and those with an iPhone can unlock their car, even honk it, from their phone.

Annual membership for the Zipcar program costs $35. But Mack says the fee is essentially returned in the form of a credit.

Students 18 years and older can reserve the car online for $8 per hour on weekdays and $9 on weekends.

Mack says the program has worked well at UCSD.

"Typically each campus starts out with about five cars and at other schools it becomes so successful that within about a year or so they have about 10, 12 or 15 cars on campus because so many students are using them and not bringing their cars to school," said Mack.

Mack says SDSU faculty, staff and administrators can also use the program.

He says the Zipcar program operates independently from SDSU and the school will not receive any profits from the company.

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