For those without a car, zip!

Zipcars at UMBC, but students don’t utilize their benefits

Zipcar, a convenient car rental service, has come to UMBC. Many students are unaware of their existence or their many benefits for drivers with or without their own personal cars.

Currently, there are two Zipcars on UMBC’s campus located on Center Road, but their reservations are not booked around the clock.

“I’ve seen Zipcars parked on campus, but never thought about using them,” senior media and communication studies major Hewan Yitagesu said. “I don’t know what the benefits are or why I would need one.”

Some students are not aware of Zipcar’s presence partially due to the fact that it is difficult to educate students on the benefits of Zipcars.

However, Zipcar can be followed online through ZipcarU on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There is also a section about the service on myUMBC.

Right now, Zipcars are not being fully utilized by UMBC students and there does not seem to be a real need for any more cars on campus, but that does not mean the present two should leave.

UMBC’s Zipcar ambassador, Charles Melesh, said, “Zipcar is here and it should be here, but I don’t know if it’s going to grow. I can see it grow, but it will take work.”

Zipcar’s presence should grow on campus as it holds benefits not just for students, but for the environment as well. The service recently became part of the Transportation Alternative for a Greener UMBC, or TAG UMBC.

Every Zipcar takes 15 cars off the road, reduces parking demands and lowers emissions into the air.

The company also covers gas and insurance, the driver only needs a valid license and to make a reservation. Zipcar is also an international company, so the driver can use an international license while driving the car.

First year students at UMBC are not allowed to have a car on campus aside from the distant Satellite Lot, so Zipcars are a great alternative to having to find a ride from a friend or being confined to campus.

“I like Zipcar because you can do so much with it,” said Melesh. “You’re not confined to one area.”

Zipcars can be used in different ways, whether friends want to make a reservation for a trip to the city without the stress of finding a ride or using their own car, or if a group of freshmen want to reserve a car to simply go to the grocery store.

“I’ve got a car,” Melesh said. “Sometimes it’s just more convenient. It’s good for quick trips and for first year students and international students.”

There are also promotional codes available for students to help pay for the service. Through November 21, UMBC students may use a promo code “fluent15” that has a $25 registration fee and a $50 driving credit after registering.

These cars are great additions to the campus and their conveniences are underrepresented throughout the school and various administrations, but students should take the opportunity to get out on the road through this service.