Sharing is caring – CarShare program offers students vehicle freedom

Sharing is caring – CarShare program offers students vehicle freedom

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Owning a vehicle can be liberating, but for a student or faculty member living close to or on campus, it is a blessing and a curse, an issue that the Boise State Transportation Department has been trying to solve with the CarShare program.

Having a vehicle is usually considered a good thing, with the freedom to leave whenever one wants to and go wherever they please and preset radio stations and never adjust the seat. Personal vehicles equal personal space. Most wouldn’t dream of leaving behind
their wheels.

But consider the constant concerns associated with car-ownership such as trying to find parking, parking fees  taking the risk without a permit, not finding parking and subsequently paying parking tickets. TWhile Boise State’s transportation and parking department is combating the issues on campus by utilizing the shuttle service, there is little known about the car sharing program offered by Enterprise.

“It’s available for our students 18 years and older,” said Nicole Nimmons, executive director for transportation and parking services.  “We are about 30 percent in regards to occupancy, which is OK for a first year with Enterprise CarShare program.”

CarShare offers two different vehicles, a Nissan Cube and a Ford Focus, for rent. According to Nimmons, most campuses start with similar economically friendly vehicles, but if demand is requested, a truck or other vehicle can be obtained.

Accessing the program is simple because the entire process is online; one starts by applying for the program and following the instructions, students are issued a card and then reservations can
be made.

The rental is hourly at $9 per hour or daily for $65. Rentals are also available on the weekends for an additional fee, $9.50 per hour and $68 for the day. Overnight is also an option for $40. Students need to be a member to use the program; there is an annual fee of $35 or a one time waived fee for those looking to try it.

Renting straight from Enterprise does not charge per hour, but per day and requires that the renter be 25 years or older. The CarShare program rents to anyone 18 years and older. However, those wishing to take a trip may want to consider other options, as CarShare is designed for a few hours of benefit over
several days.

The fees cover the rental, insurance, maintenance and fuel.

“You don’t have to pay the cost of the vehicle; you don’t have to pay the insurance, or the gas, it’s always in the same parking space on campus which is kind of nice. You can always find it,” Nimmons said.

Several students use the valley transit service or commute, but the CarShare program is designed to help alleviate the stress associated with having a vehicle by being an alternative form of transportation.

“It’s a great service if you don’t have to have your car on campus or if you don’t have a car,” said Robby Gaworski, senior general business major, and liaison between Enterprise and Boise State. “You don’t have to rent a car at a branch, you can just do it right at school; it’s a pretty cheap alternative to having a car at school.”

The program, while still new, is continuously growing.

“Since January students have used the cars 200 different times whereas the faculty have used the cars 42 times,” Kelly Jenkins, business rental sales executive for Enterprise, said in an email. “We have a total of 92 members now and 74 of them are students and 18 are faculty.”

Eryn Shay Johnson
Eryn Shay Johnson currently studies communication at Boise State University (BSU), she has been a higher education student since 2011, but is new to the Treasure Valley. Since moving to Boise, Johnson has jumped into her schooling with both feet, as a media emphasis student she has helped produce articles for the Idaho Press Tribune. Previously, Johnson worked as a special sections intern for the Post Register of Idaho Falls where she previously worked as a news intern. The Post Register helped publish many of Johnson’s works including her article “Good for the Soul: Group uses laughter as path to better health” which was picked up by the Associated Press in July 2011. Johnson has also served as an intern for the Times-News of Twin Falls. She now contributes stories to The Arbiter. As a student at BSU, Johnson aspires to graduate in Spring 2015. Following graduation she plans to continue her writing for news outlets, planning to grow all the while. Her dream is to write professionally for a major city newspaper, ultimately she wants to write a Pulitzer Prize winning piece. Johnson was a member of the Associate Students of the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) and served as both Advertising Senator and Off Campus Relations Senator. She graduated from CSI May 2013 with her Associate Degree in Communication Studies. She is a native of Idaho Falls and comes from a small family, her only sibling is her twin brother Damon who serves the United States Air Force.