PHOENIX – Zach Makawi loves his super-simple bicycle commute to Arizona State University in Tempe. But he draws the line at hauling water bottles and other supplies for work on his Trek road bike — especially when he can use a campus Zipcar for free, according to www.azcentral.com.
Zipcar, the Valley’s only car-sharing service, lets members like Makawi rent cars parked around ASU’s Tempe campus by the hour for personal errands and business use. Faculty, students, staff, and area residents can become members. Many ASU departments, including Makawi’s American English and Culture Program, maintain an account that allows employees to use of the vehicles for free.
As an activities coordinator, Makawi frequently uses his department’s account to rent a Honda Element parked in a campus garage near his office. That way, he doesn’t have to rent a car for a whole day or drive his own vehicle to and from ASU, which charges up to $780 per year to park in a campus garage.
Makawi said he learned of the car-sharing program through a campus e-mail last September when a company named Flexcar expanded to ASU. Within a few months, Flexcar was bought by competitor Zipcar of Cambridge, Mass., and Flexcar’s fleet of 10 vehicles was rebranded with the Zipcar name.
Over the past year, Zipcar has enrolled 380 members at ASU, said ASU Parking and Transit Services spokeswoman Shereen Saurey. Of those, 216 are faculty and staff and 164 are students.
This also will be the first year that the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus will have access to Zipcar.
Membership runs $35 a year for faculty, staff, and students, who must be at least 18 to join. Members of the public pay $50 a year and must be at least 21. All members who are 21 or older have access to Zipcar’s fleet of more than 5,500 vehicles throughout the United States, Canada, and London.
Zipcar members must pay $9 to $11 an hour, depending on the type of vehicle they rent. Its fleet includes trucks, sedans, and a Mini Cooper. The rental fee covers insurance, vehicle maintenance, and gasoline costs. Members use a gas card inside the vehicle to refill the tank to at least one-quarter full as part of their membership agreement. Each reservation allows members to drive up to 180 free miles. Additional miles are billed at 35 cents a mile.