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Winona State Adds Zipcar Service

Winona State University in Minnesota, with about 8,100 students, has signed on for the Zipcar service in an effort to offer its campus community an alternative to owning a car. The university will have three self-service cars--two non-hybrid (Toyota Matrixes) and one hybrid (a Toyota Prius)--available to students and employees aged 18 and over. Gas, maintenance, insurance, and reserved parking are included in the hourly and daily rates.

The partnership with Zipcar is part of the university's sustainability initiative, launched when President Judith Ramaley signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007. The university has also launched a bike-sharing program that allows students and employees to check out bikes, helmets, and locks for free.

"Winona State University is committed to reducing its carbon footprint," said Ramaley. "Investing in alternative transportation is one facet of the university's overall approach to sustainability, and we're proud to partner with Zipcar to provide our community with a versatile alternative to personally-owned vehicles." An audit by a third-party estimated that the university generated 45,447 metric tons of emissions during 2007.

People involved with the campus can join Zipcar for $35 and check out a car drive for about $8 an hour or $66 per day on weekdays and $9 per hour or $72 per day on weekends. The membership also grants members 21 and over access to Zipcar's network of 5,500 vehicles in North America and the United Kingdom.

The car service is also available at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and St. Paul, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, University of California Los Angeles, and Amherst College in Massachusetts.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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