Zipcars at UF Offer More Sustainable Transportation
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Politics and Activism

Zipcars at UF Offer More Sustainable Transportation

The University of Florida knows that sharing really is caring as more and more Gators share their cars — Zipcars, that is.

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Zipcars at UF Offer More Sustainable Transportation

The orange and blue campus of UF looks a little greener each day as students take advantage of this sustainable car sharing service.

Initially introduced to Gainesville as part of UF’s first One Less Car Challenge in 2008, the university now houses 15 different low-emissions vehicles for students and faculty to rent out through Zipcar.

“With such an enormous campus, we face some of the same issues a small city might face,” said Allison Vitt, the outreach and communications coordinator for UF’s Office of Sustainability. Vitt explained that these issues include things such as having too many cars on campus and seeing an increase in emissions.

Zipcars work to help solve some of these problems by offering an alternative to owning a car. Available to UF students who are 18 or older, creating an account allows users to reserve a vehicle for any amount of time from their computer or smartphone. From there, all it takes is a swipe of their Zipcard and they can be on their way. The price of renting varies depending on the type of car, but the costs of gas and insurance are included.

Aubrey Stevenson, a senior at UF majoring in sustainability studies, has been a regular Zipcar user ever since selling her car during her sophomore year.

“I love the fact that I don’t have a vehicle taking up space and being wasteful. That’s the main reason I got rid of my car — it isn’t a necessity,” Stevenson said. “I try to drive the Prius when I use Zipcar because it produces less emissions.”

Stevenson is not the only one taking advantage of this UF resource, especially since last year’s expansion that placed additional cars near the residential area of sorority row.

“I use it because of the terrible parking situation on campus,” said Heather Blum, a sophomore at UF. “I heard about it when I was a sophomore in high school and did a program at Yale.”

UF is among more than 100 other universities across North America that have signed on to partner with Zipcar.

Zipcars are a viable solution to short-term transportation problems on campus, but they also address UF’s much larger goal, which is to ultimately become a carbon-neutral university.

“You have to look at it from the big picture and from individual actions,” Vitt said. “We want to make campus as green as possible.”

For more information on how to join Zipcar, visit www.zipcar.com/ufl.

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