university case studies

masters in alternative transportation

Some of the world's most notable colleges and universities are using Zipcar. It may be an Ivy-league idea, but that doesn't mean it's not the perfect transportation solution for any campus. Yale, Stanford, Brown (to name a few) are giving students, faculty and even their local community a viable alternative to battling campus congestion. More importantly, these universities are making a big impact at a small price. Zipcar for University gives students the freedom to express their concern for environmental initiatives while allowing the schools themselves to focus on big-ticket issues: campus parking, congestion, and pollution.

More than 100 universities across North America are getting their Masters in Alternative Transportation. Find out more about how they've benefited by clicking on a school below.  

If you have to leave campus, there's another way to go

Pomona College – Claremont, CA

"We don't expect our students to live in a bubble. We want them to experience the culture and the opportunities in and around Los Angeles," said Miriam Feldblum, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Pomona College. "Helping them get to work in the community supports our mission." read full
Fulfilling a commitment to students and the community
Widely regarded as a premier liberal arts college, Pomona College is set on a breathtaking 160-acre campus 35 miles outside of LA. So while it's hard to see why students would want to leave, Pomona has built a thriving internship program. "We have approximately ninety students working at non-profit organizations or businesses across the region," said Dean Feldblum. Though Pomona strongly encourages the use of public transportation and discourages cars on campus, schedules and distance make it difficult for students to fulfill internship commitments.

Enter Zipcar. Now with seven Zipcars on campus, students age eighteen and up can get to their jobs around the area, regardless of time or distance. What's more, according to Dean Feldblum, is that "having Zipcar also facilitates access to many off-campus activities for students and staff, whether they're volunteering, taking in a performance, or visiting a museum."

A driving force for change
How did Zipcar find its way to Pomona? "Actually, it started as a student initiative. The students came to us and asked us to look into car sharing." What Pomona discovered was a service that in Dean Feldblum's words, "…provided part of a complete solution to enable access and meet our sustainability goals."

In three words, how does a Dean of Students who's so obviously committed to the community and her students describe Zipcar? "Sustainable. Accessible. Visible.     

How to take on mass(ive) transportation challenges

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI

"We operate 22,000 parking spaces, run bus services that provide 6 million passenger trips a year and maintain a fleet of around 1,000 vehicles. We're working to reduce the growing need for parking by promoting transportation options," said Dave Miller, Executive Director of Parking and Transportation, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. read full
Keeping up with keeping cars off campus
So how does Zipcar fit into the plan? "It breaks down to convincing students and staff that they don't need to bring a car to campus," said Dave. That's no easy task when you consider the campus spans 2,800 acres and that there are 9,700 students living in residence halls. And for some residents the only way to get a space is to enter a lottery.

That's why the university turned to Zipcar. According to Dave, "We park Zipcars near the residence halls on Central Campus where there is absolutely no parking for students. The students love it." And Dave loves the fact that every Zipcar can take 15 to 20 privately-owned cars off the road (national average). That can go a long way to reducing congestion and parking demands.

Managing Zipcar takes no time at all
"It just runs," said Dave, when we asked him to explain what it's like managing Zipcar on campus. He added, "Our main activity is marketing the program. And we've had good support from Zipcar promoting it."

Dave's incredibly busy, but he did have time to give us three quick words to sum up the program: "Easy. Convenient. Cost-effective."      

Cutting costs isn't all hard work

Smith College – Northampton, MA

"It's a beautiful campus," said Kristen Cole, Media Relations Director at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, "and easy to navigate on foot. But more and more students were bringing cars to the college. Unfortunately, public transportation didn't seem to have enough of an impact on the number of cars."  read full
Good for the students, the staff, the faculty and the budget
"We were at the point where we needed to consider adding more parking," said Kristen, "but with a relatively small campus, adding spaces is a substantial project." By offering Zipcar to students, staff and faculty, everyone has the freedom to travel around the area anytime day or night. And Smith was able to put its parking plans on hold. According to Kristen, "it was a relief not to add spaces, but to maintain the space we have."

Zipcar also brought other less tangible benefits to the campus. "It's fun to Zip around in different cars," said Kristen. On a more serious note, she mentioned that because Zipcar includes gas and insurance, it gives virtually everyone on campus an affordable way to travel between the five-college consortium Smith belongs to.

It's easy to bring Zipcar to campus "Zipcar made it easy to bring Zipcar to campus," said Kristen. That's because Zipcar works with colleges and universities to design a plan that fits their goals. That includes determining the number of cars that lead to a successful program, adding cars as needed, and offering a range of cars from hybrids to CRVs that appeal to a cross section of members.

So how does the Media Relations Director at one of the most renowned colleges in the world sum up Zipcar? "Convenient. Affordable. Fun."     

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