Zipcars come to Clark this spring

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Beginning in January, members of the Clark University community will have a new transportation option on campus: Zipcars. The Boston-based car sharing program has agreed to provide two of their publicly shared vehicles to Clark for hourly and daily use by students, faculty and staff. Persons who wish to use a Zipcar will be able to reserve one for a nominal fee for between one and 48 hours. The hourly and daily rates, which include gas, insurance, and 180 free miles, have been reduced for campus users, totaling $7 per hour (around $72 per day). At Clark, all students — even first-year students — are allowed to bring cars to campus. Clark maintains an overnight parking garage on the corner of Downing and Florence Streets, and students can purchase yearly permits for the garage from University Police. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of public transportation to get around the city and experience the numerous cultural attractions in Worcester. "The Clark Undergraduate Student Council committed to this program because of widespread student demand for alternative transportation on campus, both for personal use and traveling for specific initiatives taken by student organizations," said Ifrad Islam, president of the Student Council. "The overall goals of the program include reducing the total number of cars on campus, thus developing into an environmentally sustainable solution to students' transportation needs. This is in agreement with the university-wide sustainability initiative that Clark takes pride in," said Islam. "Zipcars may prove to be much more financially feasible for students who currently own a vehicle on campus and thus regularly pay for fuel, insurance and parking." Zipcars are accessed by using Zipcards which lock and unlock the vehicle through a reader on the windshield. Zipcard holders will be able to access an online interface where they can view the cars' availability and price quotes in order to make a reservation. Two other colleges in the Worcester area also make Zipcars available to their campus communities.