Zipcar at ColgateIn an effort to increase the greening of campus and mobility for Colgate students, staff, and faculty who may not own cars, the Student Government Association (SGA) has brought Zipcars to campus.

Alex Restrepo ’12 spearheaded the initiative, which started last October and was officially launched Tuesday, with the help of fellow SGA members and administrators such as Art Punsoni, director of purchasing.

Zipcar worked closely with administrators and student leaders to create a contract designed to cater specifically to university members. Details about the program are available here.

In order to sign up with Zipcar, a student, staff or faculty member completes a short online form in which a driver’s license and billing information is acquired. It costs $25 to join right now, with $35 in free driving offered.

Reserving a Zipcar can be done several ways — phone, online, or through Android or iPhone mobile applications. Any student age 18 and over can take part. Members age 18-20 can use the two Zipcars that are on campus. Members age 21 and over also have access to thousands of Zipcars around the world.

“There is no downside.There is only an upside because not only does it provide access to students, there is no cost to the university,” said Restrepo.

He added that Zipcar will help improve Colgate’s growing sustainability efforts by reducing the overall number of vehicles on campus; approximately 15-20 personally owned vehicles are expected to be eliminated from campus roads through use of the program.

Another goal is to provide a way for students to explore the surrounding area, and to allow them to take a break from the bustle of Colgate life, even if it is for a few hours at a time.

Restrepo, who handed out information at the O’Connor Campus Center where the two  Zipcars were parked, said a substantial amount of students signed up during the hour of the launch, though he was unable to disclose an exact number.

The two Zipcars currently available for use on campus are a 2011 Honda Insight Hybrid and a 2012 Ford Focus, both of which are Smart Way fuel-efficient vehicles.

Initial student opinion about the program was positive.

“Zipcars are great for campus because they allow transportation for those who can’t bring cars  to campus, and because they give international students the opportunity to drive in the United States,” said James Speight ’14.