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    This is one of the two Zipcars available for NCCU stidents to use. Parked in the lot next to NCCU's bookstore, they have been available since March 1. Photo by Diamond Gwynn/ Echo staff photographer

NCCU meets Zipcar

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When you head to college, you sometimes have to leave things behind.

And when that’s a vehicle, transportation is limited.

Fortunately, for car-less students tired of relying on public transportation or friends, Zipcar has arrived to N. C. Central University.

Zipcar is a company that rents out cars by the hour or day.

The company says it’s all about saving the environment, going green, and car sharing.

The idea is less cars equals less pollution.

According to Zipcar.com, the process is easy and stress-free.

First, you must join online and wait to be approved.

Applicants must have had a license for at least a year.

Unlike most rental car services, the age requirement is only 18 rather than 25.

Once an applicant is approved, he/she will receive a ‘zipcard’ in the mail, similar to a credit card. Zipcar users are to keep it on-hand at all times.

The vehicle can be reserved online or through the mobile app.

After the reservations are complete, the car will be ready for pick up in the Latham parking lot.

The car keys remain in the car; the Zipcard locks and unlocks the vehicle.

To unlock the doors, hold the Zipcard to the windshield, and you’re good to go. But don’t forget to return the car back to the reserved spot after the expiration.

And if you need to extend the reservation, just use the Zipcar mobile app or send a text to the designated app or personnel.

Zipcar has been in service since 2004, and eventually made its way onto college campuses in 2011.

As of 2015, Zipcar was on more than 500 colleges and Universities across North America, according to a Zipcar report.

The University of California Los Angeles, Spelman, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro utilize Zipcar’s services, just to name a few.

For students, there seems to be only one complaint: why the wait?

“I wish Zipcar was here when I was a freshman,” Junior Public Health major, Ryan Lyles said.

“If people take advantage of Zipcar it could be very useful,” Lyles added. “Since everyone complains about parking on campus, we should definitely take advantage of the opportunity.”

“I think it’s very beneficial. It makes parking and transportation one less thing to worry about,” said Yana Bland, a freshman Criminal Justice student, “It’s a way of allowing students to regain their dependency and saving the planet at the same time.”

Cha’ssem Anderson, Director of transportation, also believes Zipcar it’s beneficial to both students and staff.

“It allows students and staff to be mobile and not have to worry about having a car on campus or parking.”

Anderson says it’s especially convenient for students who need to get to and from the grocery store and anywhere else around the city.

Aside from the hourly rates, students must pay a one-time $15 membership fee, which includes gas and insurance.

For faculty, there is no membership fee. Rates start at $7.50 an hour, up to eight hours then daily rates will apply.

If the car is low on gas all you have to do is gas up with the fuel card which is already in the vehicle tucked in the driver’s side visor.

“Everything is included,” Anderson said.

When you’re ready to pick up your Zipcar, you have two transportation options: Ford Fusion or a Toyota Corolla.

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