At California State University, Northridge, parking officials are hoping to reduce traffic congestion with the Zipcar program. The program offers rental cars to be used from the campus for about $8 per hour. According to the article:
“The program is meant to benefit CSUN students as well as faculty and staff in lowering gas emissions, parking congestion and [it] encourage[s] students that do drive to take public transit,” said Natalie Torlano, vice chair of environmental affairs for Associated Students.
The plan is that students who need to use a car during their school day will take public transit to campus and rent a car from there instead of driving their own car. The rental fees include gas, insurance and a mileage deal of 180 miles a day.
The university is trying several tactics to address parking problems. It offers shuttle service, and students are offered a significant parking permit discount for the shuttle lot. And engineering students at CSUN are working on a smartphone app that directs students to available parking.
“All of these programs are supported by the university in order to prevent building new structures that would in turn increase parking fees. State law prohibits educational funds from being used for anything but student tuition, parking has to support itself.”
I think this is a great idea. I know I could have used a rental car a hundred times when i was an underclassman living on my university’s campus. It’s great to see an organization get creative when it comes to solving its budget and parking issues.