Interest in Oswego State Zipcar program growing

Need a ride to Syracuse but don’t want to ride the bus? Oswego Zipcars are available for use for college community members. Staff, faculty and students have the opportunity to pay a $35 annual fee to join the Zipcar community. If users use the cars within the first 30 days after paying the annual fee, then they’ll get that $35 credited for four hours of driving.

Zipcars were introduced to the campus at the end of last semester as part of the college’s push towards greater sustainability and reducing carbon footprints. Mike Flaherty, general manager of Auxiliary Services, worked together with the president’s office and Lorrie Clemo, chief of staff to President Deborah Stanley, to get a Toyota Prius and Toyota Matrix on campus for multiple users.

Student Association President Christina Ballesteros spent the first weekend back to school promoting the Zipcars. She said students were excited about the cars and were eager for more information.

"Parents took a huge liking to our offer/promotion. The new idea of sustainability has everyone smiling and full of questions," Ballesteros said.

Parents and new campus members were curious on how the cars work, how to sign up, what the fees are, where to sign up and if they lessen the school’s carbon footprint, Ballesteros said. Overall, students and parents were grateful for the service, not only because it provides transportation but also because it’s "eco-friendly."

Since the unveiling, there have been 33 students and five faculty and staff who have signed up for the services, Flaherty said. The cars have been used for 62.5 hours since April. Flaherty spoke about the possibility of adding more cars to the fleet.

"When we find more usage than can be accommodated by the cars we have, we’ll get more," he said. Jason Demauro, treasurer of Students for Global Change, likes the idea of the Zipcars. "They give students, who don’t have a car on campus, other options for transport." Demauro said the pay-by-use feature is helpful and feeing for a quick trip once a month. Senior Erick Yepez agrees, "I think it’s good for people who commute to other parts of Central New York. If I had a license, I would rent one."

To rent a Zipcar, college community members can go online to www.zipcar.com/oswego. Most people over the age of 18 can register, if they have a clean driving record and a current driver’s license for a year or more. For more information, check out the Web site.