In an attempt to reduce parking congestion, the University has partnered with Zipcar, a car sharing service that allows members to reserve and rent their own car.
The program, which started this semester, is available for all students, faculty and staff of La Verne.
“We’ve been looking into different ways to help the parking situation at the University and this is another one of them,” Transportation and Parking Coordinator Lisa Grater said.
The goal of the Zipcar partnership is to provide a different mode of transportation for students while also opening up a few parking spots on campus.
“I think it will eliminate some vehicles on campus if students and faculty know there are other means of transportation available,” Grater said.
To become a member, registrants must be 18 years old or older.
Rates to rent a Zipcar begin at $7.50 per hour or $69 per day for University of La Verne members. Memberships are currently $35, but students are eligible for a promotional $25 fee until May 31. Costs include gas and insurance.
Upon applying for membership, Zipcar reviews driving records of the applicant and then verifies University affiliation through Grater.
If the applicant is cleared, Zipcar will then add the member to their insurance policy and provide a Zipcard, which gives access to renting cars through the company.
“Zipcars gives people options,” director of campus safety and transportation Stanley Skipworth said. “Anyone can go out and rent their own car and not spend a lot of time and money.”
The service allows students to take care of tasks that may not take an entire day, such as grocery shopping or going home for the weekend, Grater said.
“If I have to run an errand, it’s worth the $10-$20 to spend as opposed to wasting my own gas, my own time and running the risk of losing my parking spot,” Skipworth said.
Skipworth also pointed out two problems that students often face: one, that students are forced to park far from their classes because it may be the only spot available on the entire campus, or two, that students are often running late because they look for a spot.
The designated parking spots for Zipcars are solutions to these problems, he said.
Despite excitement among administration, some students are skeptical about the impact the service will have on parking.
“I don’t think the program will help parking this year because they introduced it too late into the school year,” junior psychology major Jasmin Avelar said. “If they would have introduced it earlier then maybe the international students and housing residents would have not brought their cars.”
Avelar said she did not plan on renting a Zipcar because she already owns a parking permit.
“I find it pointless to rent a car and spend money when I can use my own car,” junior psychology major Briana Valdez said. “I think it’ll make parking worse because it’s taking up parking spaces which students need to park in.”
Junior movement and sports science major and commuter Nadine Miranda also agreed, and said that she was unaware of how the program would be of any use to commuting students that have to bring their cars.
Still, there is appreciative support from many faculty and staff members, Skipworth said.
“I think it will be permanent,” Grater said. “I have a lot of people signed up, so I think it’s going to be here to stay.”
For more information, visit www.zipcar.com/ulv.
Robert Penalber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.