Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah! New Wheels on the Way
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Zipcar
members who reserve cars in the Smith College fleet will
soon have more choices to wheel.
The fleet, which can be
accessed by anyone with a membership to North America’s
largest car-sharing service, is expected to double by July
23, when the current pair of blue Toyota Matrix Zipcars
will be joined by Mazda 3 and Honda Civic models.
“The program at Smith has been incredibly successful
and has had great demand,” said Maria Martinez, a spokesperson
for Zipcar, adding “the cars are continuously booked
on a daily basis.”
The newcomers will be
located beside the initial pair of Zipcars in the Smith
College Parking Garage on West Street. They will be situated
to the right of the main garage entrance and alongside
the current vehicles. All of the cars are easily identified
by the green Zipcar name painted across the vehicles’ passenger-side
doors, as well as signs in the parking spaces.
The addition of two new fuel-efficient models coincides
with the second anniversary of the arrival of the car service
As always, Smith students 18 and older -- along with faculty,
staff and local residents 21 and older -- are able to reserve
the use of a car by the hour or day. Gas and insurance are
included in the hourly rate of $7 and the daily rate of $55.
Although many drivers
are now experiencing the impact of escalating fuel costs,
Zipcar has no plans to adjust its fee structure based on
gas prices. “The company does
not frequently have to adjust pricing due to rising fuel
costs because gas prices are a small percentage of Zipcar's
overall operating costs,” said Martinez.
Twenty-four hours a day
and up to a year in advance, Zipcar members are able to
reserve a car online or by telephone. To become a member,
an interested person must complete an online application.
Once approved by the company, an applicant will receive
in the mail a “Zipcard” that provides
automated access to unlock and drive any Zipcar.
The company estimates that each Zipcar eliminates the need
for more than 20 privately owned vehicles. There are now
about 225,000 Zipcar members in cities and towns around the