After weak demand on campus, the University of Louisville is opening up its car share program to the public.
Car share programs already exist—and thrive—in cities around the country. The way they usually work is people pay a nominal fee to become members, and then pay an hourly fee to rent a car.
But a small car-sharing program that’s been at the University of Louisville for several years hasn’t had a lot of demand, so now the school is opening the program up to the public in hopes of attracting broader support. U of L Sustainability Coordinator Justin Mog said a key part of the university’s sustainability plan is helping students and Louisville residents transition away from constant car use, and instead use public transportation, bikes and car shares.
“There’s more and more alternatives accessible to people and having the car share program on campus takes away some of the fear factor of, ‘Oh, what if I need a vehicle in the middle of the day,’” he said.
The hope is that having the cars available for rent will encourage some people to look at the economics of car owning, and encourage occasional drivers to give up their vehicle altogether.
“What we’re trying to do with this program is say, ‘Look, don’t bother bringing your car to campus, and then we have to find space for you to park it and you have to spend money on a parking permit and maintaining and operating that vehicle,” Mog said. “Instead we’re offering this fleet of vehicles to you to access whenever you need them for personal use or business use or whatever, and all the gas and insurance and maintenance and cleaning is covered.’”
The car share is open to anyone older than 21 with a valid drivers’ license, and there are currently two car share vehicles on U of L’s Belknap campus. The cars will cost $8 an hour during the week, and $8.50 on weekends; there’s a $35 annual fee, but the university is offering a discount on membership and program credits for people who take an online survey before April 30.
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