http://laloyolan.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/ZipCars_KileyOng.jpg"> Los Angeles has the highest per capita car population in the world with one registered automobile for every 1.8 people, according to information gathered by New World Encyclopedia.
Because of congestion in the city, parking issues on campus, environmental consciousness and to create an economical alternative, LMU has joined with Zipcar Inc., a car-share company that operates in urban areas and caters to college campuses throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Students swarmed under a bright green sign flagging one of Zipcar Inc.’s car models on display at First Convo last Tuesday Aug. 31. The black hatchback subcompact featured was an example of one of two automobiles available by the hour or day on the Westchester campus as a part of LMU’s new car-share program. Zipcar Inc. retains more than 30 makes and models of self-service vehicles as an alternative to the costs of owning a car.
“The service relieves the financial burden parents face when sending their children to college with a car that sits idle most of the time,” said Matthew Malloy, Zipcar Inc. vice president of global university operations.
Students, faculty and staff, as well as community members age 18 and up, can reserve and drive a Zipcar for as little as an hour or up to four days at www.zipcar.com/lmu. The cars will be parked off Ignatian Circle on Rosecrans Way. Westchester campus Zipcars are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, starting at $8 per hour and $66 per 24-hour day. The rate includes gasoline, 180 miles per day, insurance, reserved parking spots and roadside assistance. There is an annual membership fee of $35, but LMU members will receive a $35 credit that may be applied during their first month of using the service. Moreover, there is an iPhone application that allows Zipcar members to make reservations, honk the horn of an available vehicle and unlock the doors.
The partnership is expected to be more than economically viable. Director of Campus Recreation Trey Duval approves of the way the program fits into LMU’s environmental sustainability mission. He said, “Zipcar fits well into LMU’s overall mission to care for our world. The program will ease congestion and help reduce our carbon footprint by making it possible for individuals to leave their cars at home.”
The car-share program is listed alongside several forms of public transportation and bicycling as an alternative transportation option under “http://www.lmu.edu/Page38526.aspx">Green LMU” (the set of programming resulting from the University’s 1990 environmental initiatives), in keeping with its purported environmental mission set forth by former President Robert B. Lawton, S.J. “It is our responsibility, as stewards of the environment, to educate, lead and take action to care for our world,” he said.