With Hertz Car Rental Company expanding their franchise to car sharing students without cars will soon have an alternative to begging for a ride from a friend. Due to parking issues and the continuing number of students who bring cars to campus Pepperdine’s Public Safety is teaming up with Connect By Hertz to offer an alternative for students and other members of the Pepperdine community who do not have easy access to cars. Public Safety said there is a growing desire for easy access transportation on campus with just over half of the Seaver students having a car registered on campus. Though car sharing is not a new idea Public Safety said it would be an ideal program for a college campus.
“It’s programs like this that really help us as students and one which will be both practical and very useful freshman Josh Currie said.
The program will officially begin the first week in February. The cars that Pubic Safety plans to use are a Mazda 3, a Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius, which all arrived earlier this week. Within three or four months, Public Safety also plans to acquire a Mini Cooper.
Though four cars may seem to be a small investment when more than 100 students expressed interest by e-mail, Deputy Director of Public Safety Dawn Emrich said there is always room for the service to grow. If more cars are needed for the growing program, then Hertz will insert more cars into the Pepperdine system.
To access the cars, members must reserve them online. The cars will be placed in four spaces in Rho parking lot. Membership cards function as a key that unlocks the car when swiped on the car door. The car will then automatically unlock and the keys will already be inside. Car sharing is somewhat like renting a car, except one makes arrangements online, must be 18 years old, instead of 25, and can rent the car by the hour, by the day or for the weekend. Public Safety officials said they are developing a Web site for sign ups, which they hope to have up and running by the end of next week. The link will be sent to all Pepperdine students via e-mail. There is no activation fee for members of the Pepperdine community who sign up by fall 2009. The program has generated enthusiasm from students and staff members, including Emrich.
Car sharing is a community responsibility and is an extension of community living on the Pepperdine campus she said.
The average cost per hour is $8.50, and the rate decreases with each hour the car is rented. The price includes gas, insurance, GPS navigation, roadside assistance and a member care center that is always available, according to the Hertz price listing.
Students and faculty can also access cars overseas through Hertz Connect. After registering online, users receive a membership card that is valid in cities such as Paris, London and New York. And with the network continually growing, the number of available cities should increase, according to Hertz. Some students have expressed excitement about the benefits of car sharing.
Car sharing is an economically and environmentally wise choice that will hopefully prove to be a useful tool to the Pepperdine community freshman Elliott Taylor said. According to the Hertz Car Sharing Web site, every Hertz Car Sharing that is on the road eliminates up to 14 personal vehicles, which therefore reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released by cars.