Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spokane Is Getting A Car-Sharing Program!

Holy cow, this is great! Gonzaga University is partnering with Zipcar, Inc. to offer a campus car-sharing program! And while it's baby steps (The only two cars are located near Sharp and Standard right now but more are expected later), this is an achievement because it means anyone (pending a drivers background check) can use this transportation option.

To mark the occasion, there was an on-campus launch event today and there will be another tomorrow from 10:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. in front of the Crosby Student Center. It will allow Gonzaga students, faculty and staff to learn more about Zipcar and apply for membership. I'll try to swing by one of the days to get some pictures so you can see what your options are.

So here's how it works; you sign up to be a member, then reserve the cars  (A Ford Focus and Nissan Sentra) as you need them online, over the phone or through an app on your wireless device. You can reserve them by the hour or day and reservations can be for as little as an hour or for multiple days.
This transportation option will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is said to be quite cost effective, with the membership being a $25 annual fee for GU students and staff and $60 for non-students, with a $25 application fee. Reservation rates start at $7.50 per hour and $69 per day. Rates include gas, insurance, reserved parking spots, up to 180 miles of driving per day and roadside assistance.

That's pretty good when you compare it to the cost of buying your own vehicle, putting gas in it, paying for oil changes and insurance. Especially for those people who don't drive very often but need a car every now and then.

Studies have shown that each Zipcar takes approximately 15 personally owned cars from the road and that the number of miles driven per member is reduced by 40 percent, helping reduce congestion and carbon dioxide emissions. Zipcar members also report an increase of trips made by public transportation, bicycling and walking.
If you're interested, you can join Zipcar, or just find out more information about it, at zipcar.com/gonzaga.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.