WeCar program provides eco-friendly alternative to transportation
By Michelle Robinson, CG News
Walking to Walmart for a grocery run no longer has to be an option for Ohio University students living on campus without a car. This year, OU is teaming up with WeCar by Enterprise to offer a safe and reliable rent-a-car option for students and faculty members in Athens.
This semester, Enterprise, a car rental company with the largest collection of fuel efficient cars in the country, provided the university with two vehicles available for rent: a blue Honda Civic and a red Ford Fiesta, located in the parking lot between Baker University Center and Porter Hall.
The initiative primarily aims to offer a more eco-friendly transportation service to students living on campus.
Driving these brightly colored cars around that are branded with the WeCar logo helps to reduce our university’s carbon footprint. By offering two fuel-efficient cars instead of generic gas-guzzlers, students use less fuel, reducing fuel emissions.
The program not only offers an eco-friendly alternative to transportation—it can be a budget cutter for students who can’t afford to pay for on-campus parking.
Hannah Niehaus, a sophomore studying psychology, came to campus this year without her car. “I think that WeCars are a great addition to our university. I would definitely consider renting a WeCar,” she said.
The rental cars can also be convenient for undergraduate students who aren’t able to rent cars through other companies due to age restrictions.
“It’s a great advantage to students from both the convenience and the cost standpoint,” Jim Wissel, director of business rental sales at Enterprise Holdings, said. “The response has been fantastic- we’ve received very positive feedback, and we have seen positive steady growth in our memberships.”
OU isn’t the first college campus to adopt this program. The WeCar initiative launched in 2008, and currently over 50 college campuses offer car-sharing programs to students, including Princeton, Xavier University and University of Hawaii.
Ned Maniscalco, manager of corporate communications for Enterprise Holdings, said that he feels it’s necessary to have this program on campuses. “Car-sharing is a way for universities to enhance the student experience, to provide a service and help them save money. We’re happy to partner with Ohio University and other colleges to make that possible, ” he said.
Students 18 years and older are able to become members of the rental car program. A one-time application fee is waived for students, and the annual membership fee is $35. Cars can be rented for as long as one hour to a week, with a pay-as-you-use service. The first 200 miles are free, with an additional 45 cents per mile.
Once a student becomes a member of Enterprise’s car-sharing program, he or she needs to reserve the car for the desired date and time. To get into the car, students swipe their membership card, and the keys are stowed within the car itself. Students pay as they use the car and refuel before returning the car when they are done.
For more information on how to sign up for the WeCar program, click here.