A new Zipcar fleet is stationed outside McDonough Arena this semester, but only a fraction of the student body is eligible to drive them.
Under the university’s current agreement with Zipcar, a short-term car rental service, drivers must be at least 21 years old, have a driving record with no more than two moving violations or accidents in the past three years and have no history of alcohol- or drug-related violations.
The new program was announced in an Aug. 23 email from Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson and is part of a larger effort on the part of the university to better accommodate student transportation needs.
“Although our campus offers many services and is easily accessed by public transportation and university shuttles, we recognize that students may at times have a need for their own vehicles,” Olson wrote in the email. “We hope this service will be useful to those who need a vehicle for short periods of time.”
The fleet of Zipcars initially available to Georgetown students includes five vehicles, ranging from a Ford Focus to a Honda CR-V, with rental rates starting at $9 an hour or $74 a day.
Zipcar’s university program website states that age constraints may be set at either 18 or 21 depending on the location. Campuses in an urban setting, like Georgetown, pose a greater insurance liability than rural campuses. However, university spokesperson Stacy Kerr said that the university hopes to be able to negotiate a lower age requirement in order to allow a greater number of students to participate in the program.
Zipcar officials declined to comment on the status of age restriction negotiations but confirmed that those discussions are ongoing.
Scott Hall, D.C. Zipcar’s general manager, expressed enthusiasm about the launch of the service.
“We know it can be difficult and expensive to bring cars to campus, so we hope the Zipcar program will help our Georgetown members run errands, attend job interviews and internships or get away for the weekend on a pay-as-you-go basis,” he wrote in an email.