OSU Zipcars unveiled

Oswego State President Deborah Stanley and Student Association President Christina Ballesteros drove up to the Campus Center in style Wednesday during College Hour.

A week after Earth Day, Oswego State unveiled innovative additions to the campus sustainability effort, which include two Zipcars, a Toyota Prius and a Toyota Matrix.

Stanley drove up in the red Toyota Matrix, while Ballesteros arrived in the navy blue Toyota Prius. The two cars are parked in specialized Zipcar spots in the parking lot adjacent to the library and are now open for use.

The Zipcar program is a worldwide car sharing service that the university is now using to reduce congestion in parking lots and to provide a "convenient, economical and environmentally friendly alternative to owning a car," according to the Oswego State office of public affairs.

Faculty, staff and students can join the Zipcar family for $35. The office of public affairs is also offering a promotion right now for new memberships at the cost of a $35 credit, which will later return to the new members.

Members will be able to reserve use of the cars online at www.zipcar.com/oswego, and can pay $8 per hour or $66 per day to use one of the cars. The benefits that come with those costs are gas, maintenance, insurance and reserved parking. Zipcar members can take the cars out for weekend trips, for day trips or just for quick errands around town.

"The word will just start getting out," Associate Director of Public Affairs Tim Nekritz, said. "It’ll be important to let incoming students know about car-sharing."

Students who know that this program is available, Nekritz said, may choose to use these cars rather than bringing their own to campus. He said the Zipcar initiative started with the purchase of the first two vehicles, and depending on the success, Oswego State will purchase more vehicles in the future.

Transportation to and from the university makes up 56 percent of the campus’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the sustainability initiative Web site. With the additions of the first Zipcars, the university is one step closer to cutting back on the transportation carbon footprint, as Stanley mentioned on Wednesday.

Additionally, the campus as a whole will continue to work toward zero net carbon emissions.

"We have an inherent duty to make the planet a better place, through education, research and actions that support sustainable living," Stanley said.