More than 300 Georgetown University students, faculty and staff have signed up for car-sharing service Car2Go through the university’s new partnership, which was launched in early December, according to Car2Go Communications Manager Adrianne Andang.
Car2Go is a car-sharing service that allows members to rent Smart cars by the hour in locations across Washington. As part of the partnership, four permanent Car2Go parking spaces were established on campus near Village C and in Lot G behind North Kehoe Field.
So far, the Car2Go spaces on campus have seen heavy usage with about 125 trips a day occurring to and from campus, according to Andang.
Georgetown is already partnered with Zipcar, a by-the-hour car rental company that has eight cars permanently located on campus as well as hundreds of vehicles throughout the district. But unlike Zipcar, Car2Go does not require users to return cars to the same location they originated.
Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services Joelle Wiese wrote in an email to the hoya that the new Car2Go partnership will not affect on the university’s offering of Zipcars.
“[W]e are proud to offer both options for the community,” Wiese wrote. “Both companies are great groups to partner with and offer different programs for members.”
Car2Go was originally introduced to the district in 2012 with a fleet of 200 cars but has since grown to 500 cars.
“D.C. has been hugely successful since launch with over 44,000 members, who have shared access to 500 vehicles within a 53 square mile Home Area,” Andang wrote in an email to The Hoya. “D.C. has the third highest Car2Go membership base and the third largest Home Area in the U.S.”
Though Car2Go offers the ease of renting without a reservation, the service is limited by the size of its Smart cars. For students who rely on carrying more than two occupants or large baggage, Zipcar may remain the only feasible by-the-hour car rental option on campus.
Wiese wrote that Car2Go would do its best to ensure that cars are always on campus since trips do not need to be round-trip but did not indicate how the company would do so.
As part of the partnership, the regular $35 sign up fee is waived for students. Cars can be rented for 31 cents per minute or $14.99 an hour not including tax. Gas and insurance are included in the rental price.
Car2Go will also be providing scholarship funds to Georgetown through the partnership. Wiese did not disclose the exact amount of the funding, but in a campus-wide email sent Dec. 2, Wiese wrote that the money would be distributed by Auxiliary Services and the GU Office of Sustainability.
“This transportation option not only offers simplicity and flexibility for our students, but sustainability as well,” Wiese wrote in the campus-wide email.
Kristin Green (SFS ’18), who is already a Zipcar member, said that she plans to sign up for Car2Go because of its flexibility.
“I think it’s great. I think the problem with ZipCar is the fact that you have to return the car to the same place you found it,” Green said. “That’s really frustrating. There have been a lot of times where I’ve wanted to use a Zipcar for a road trip or some kind of journey where I might take the train back or an alternate form of transportation.”
Ryan Wolfe (COL ’18), another Zipcar member, said that he does not plan on utilizing the new Car2Go program because of its costs and limitations.
“What I like about Zipcar is that it’s flexible with what kind of vehicle you can get,” Wolfe said. “And if you need the car for a couple of hours, it’s still not that expensive, whereas with this car, if you’re going to use it for more than a half-hour, it’s going to start being kind of expensive. And because it’s only a Smart car it’s not very flexible as far as where you can go.”