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Zipcar helps students get around

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (June 2, 2014) – For some students, attending college means asking friends for a ride, whether to the grocery store or the movies. At California Baptist University, students have another option. CBU offers two rental cars through Zipcar.

“Parking has become more of a challenge, and we want to give students an option of not bringing a car to school,” said Joe Adcock, assistant dean of students.

Any student, faculty or staff member can use the car, although it’s especially attractive to out-of-state and international students, he said.

Eric Ruta (’13) used the car to run errands, such as going to the bank or shopping. He is from Rwanda and also used the car to take other international students on errands. “I am extremely appreciative of this program,” Ruta said.

People have to sign up with Zipcar and pay to receive an access card. Once they receive a card, they go on the website or the mobile app and reserve their time. Reservations can be made by the hour or the day, and rates include gas and insurance, though not taxes. When it’s their reservation time, drivers just scan their card over a reader in the windshield and the car unlocks.

About 100 people at CBU have signed up to receive a card, Adcock said. He is also marketing the cars to campus offices, such as Admissions, which often makes trips to high schools. The cars also were promoted at freshmen orientation last year and at the Club Fairs. Parents attending the Step Ahead event are told of the program as well.

Matthew Fuller, a senior from Yucaipa, does not have a car on campus. He has used the Zipcar for off-campus activities, such as seeing a family member who is in town. He said the cars give him an option if he has to get off campus.

Zipcar’s annual survey of Millennials (those in the 18-34 age group) in the U.S., which Zipcar has conducted the past four years, has shown that young people value access over ownership, according to CJ Himberg, public relations specialist with Zipcar. The company’s cars can be found on more than 350 campuses across the country.

Osiris Vincent Ntarugera (’13), from Rwanda, used the car to run errands, go to the mall or the airport. “I am definitely glad CBU has that program, because as a student without a car, it was hard for me to find a ride from a friend. Now, I can just pick up the car and do my errands.”