CONWAY, S.C. — Malorie Williams was excited to finally have a set of wheels at her disposal.
The Coastal Carolina University sophomore was one of the first to sign up for Zipcar, a new car-sharing service, at the universitys Club Recruitment Day Wednesday. Williams is a licensed driver but doesnt have her own vehicle, which she said made life inconvenient last year while living on the far side of campus at University Place.
It was a struggle last year, and I do not plan on doing that again, said Williams, who has moved to a dorm to be closer to classes. I need to go other places off campus, and I have to go to the beach.
Zipcar provides cars that can be reserved from one hour to several days, and can be accessed at any hour, any day. The global company operates at 300 universities across North America, and after seeing the service at Wake Forest University, CCU officials decided to make it available to students, staff and the community, said Sandy Baldridge, the universitys manager of contractual and business services.
There has been a huge response with people asking a lot of questions. It will be an asset for students, especially our international students, such as a group of German students who will be at CCU for half of the semester, Baldridge said.
Zipcar participants must be at least 18 years old and pay a $25 annual membership fee, which will increase to $35 after the first year. Rates for campus vehicles start at $7.50 per hour, $69 per day, and include gas, insurance and up to 180 miles of driving per day.
CCU is starting with two cars a Ford Focus hatchback and a Chevy Volt PHEV, which runs on electricity or gas but can increase the number if needed to meet demand, Baldridge said. The Zipcars, parked in a campus lot near Palmetto Hall, are accessed by placing a membership card on a window sensor that reads the reservation, and the keys and a gas card are inside.
Zipcar also has some locating devices in its cars, said C.J. Himberg, communications coordinator for the company. The devices are not actively used, but they can be turned on should a member miss their return time, she said.
Myrtle Beach International Airport also just became a Zipcar outpost, offering a different selection of cars, Himberg said. Participants can join the service at www.zipcar.coastalcarolina, and the website will show available cars and rates at any Zipcar site. The age requirement is lower at campus sites, she said, and participants must be at least 21 years old to reserve cars at the airport.
Williams received a free T-shirt at the CCU signup and said she was so excited, she was going to spread the word about the service by word of mouth and through social media.
Im going to tell people as much as possible with Facebook, videos, however I can, she said. I am so glad they are here.