|ISU to offer car rentals for students|
|Written by Matthew Wendling, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Wednesday, 02 September 2009 20:21|
“The fact is that anyone with a good driving record can be a member of Hertz Connect,” Michael O’Grady, director of grounds and fleet operations, said. “Once you’re a member of Hertz Connect, you can rent a vehicle anywhere anytime it’s available.”
“Most students would find it difficult to rent a car if you go to a rental agency, you’ve got to be at least 25 years of age,” Enid Cardinal, sustainability coordinator, said. “And with this agreement, 18 years of age can rent a vehicle from Hertz.”
While other forms of public transportation are available, this service offers flexibility not afforded by other methods.
“It’s an alternative,” O’Grady said. “We see that there’s a benefit to this for students that, say, need to make a quick trip home or may want to run out to Walmart on a Sunday morning when the bus service isn’t running … two of you together, now [it is] four bucks to rent a vehicle.”
“We’re trying to encourage people to carpool where possible,” Cardinal said. “We have an electronic rideshare board that’s available on the Parking and Transportation Web site.”
Furthermore, students will be able to gain experience with the renting and ridesharing experience.
“We see it as another service to the students and it’s educational,” O’Grady said. “As students leave Illinois State University car-sharing in larger cities is more prevalent and is growing every day.”
The environmental benefits of this program were considered during the conception of this program.
“Last year, President Bowman signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment which is a commitment for universities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050,” Cardinal said. “One of the biggest parts of our footprint really is commuting back and forth to campus.”
“Car-sharing is a sustainable behavior,” agreed O’Grady.
Cardinal said she hopes ISU will begin offering this service during the first week of October. Currently, the only delay is in the arrival of the rental vehicles. As soon as these arrive, students will be able to reserve the cars electronically on a first come, first serve basis.
“We will have two hybrid Priuses and we’ll have one Ford Escape and one Mitsubishi, probably a Gallant,” O’Grady explained. “Obviously, the two Priuses we looked at because they are … a very eco-friendly vehicle.”
“There’ll be two of these vehicles in the Alamo II parking lot and two on west campus across from Tri-Towers,” he continued.
“It’ll probably be a slow learning curve for people,” Cardinal said. “I think it’s going to take a little getting used to for people but once word gets out, I think there’ll be a large acceptance for it.”