Zipping around LA is about to get a little easier for USC students.
Zipcar, a nationwide car-sharing program that rents cars by the hour or day to registered members, plans to add 12 additional cars to the USC area this month.
There are currently 16 Zipcars available on campus, but the new addition — six more cars on campus and six in the North University Park area — will boost the amount to 28.
“The program is doing amazingly well,” said Matthew Malloy, vice president of global university operations at Zipcar. “More and more students are joining every day. We’re getting hundreds of members joining on a regular basis.”
Bernard C. Parks, who represents the Los Angeles City Council’s District 8, which encompasses North University Park and USC’s campus, said he is certain the partnership with Zipcar will be a positive step in solving LA’s environmental and space issues.
“There will be less cars in the North University Park area,” Parks said. “The fact that people can share cars will cause a decrease in the need for more cars.”
Zipcars are available for members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cars are keyless; instead, members swipe a card to unlock and start any available car parked in a Zipcar space.
Gas is included in both the day-long fee and the $8 to $9 hourly rate. Members can make reservations for specific timeslots and locations online or by phone.
Malloy said Zipcar has high hopes for the success of its expanded presence at USC.
“We expect to see it continuously expanding through to spring,” Malloy said.
Placing more Zipcars in North University Park required a partnership between Zipcar, USC Transportation and the City of Los Angeles, who are all working together to solve problems such as air pollution and overcrowded parking facilities.
The Los Angeles City Council has also been cooperating with Zipcar and USC in a car-sharing pilot program. The program is meant to gauge the potential of car sharing in Los Angeles in the two highly populated areas near USC and UCLA for a year.
So far, the pilot program has been widely successful and a more permanent program is in store, as well as possible expansion to other areas in Los Angeles.
Parks said he had no problem deciding to form the partnership with Zipcar, and he hopes an increase in Zipcar use will reduce congested traffic and the city’s carbon footprint.
USC Transportation could be not reached for comment.
Kaitlin Everly, a junior majoring in international relations, said an increase in Zipcars would make reserving a car much easier.
“It’s awesome, because though the Zipcars are usually available during the weekdays, when it comes to the weekends, I have to reserve it days in advance,” Everly said.
Everly said she has been using Zipcar for about a year, and almost every week during the summer, to go shopping and to dance classes.
“I really like it,” she said. “It’s very easy to use, and so easy for me to get around places.”
Other students have not had such positive experiences.
David McAlpine, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences and broadcast journalism, cancelled his Zipcar membership this year after using it sporadically as a freshman.
“I thought I was going to use it more,” McAlpine said. “But I ended up not using it much. I just got my own car instead this year.”