Car-sharing program is a green and economical transportation option

Taylor Hilsabeck

Did you know that a shared vehicle can remove 15 to 20 cars from the road?  Students, faculty and staff can use the WeCar sharing program, which offers an economical, convenient and environmentally-friendly transportation alternative to owning a car.

WeCar is owned and operated by Enterprise Rent-A-Car. WeCar was piloted in 2007 as an extension of Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s business rental program. Two Ford Focus cars are available; they are located in Lot 59A, by Martin Hall, and Lot 54, by Linden Hall.

Mark Zirka, 2011 ISU graduate, proposed the idea of sharing cars as a sustainable project for a class. His motive? Date night. “Without a car, I would have to take a date on CyRide — not very romantic,” Zirka said.

WeCar executives liked the date night idea so much, they decided to offer special pricing for overnight use. 

After Zirka’s proposal, Merry Rankin, sustainability director and program manager in facilities planning and management at Iowa State, helped Zirka bring the WeCar sharing program to the university. 

The service has been available on campus since last fall.

Though renting a WeCar does have a cost, occasional WeCar use can pay for itself when compared with the cost of an individual parking pass and the operational expenses of driving a personal car to campus each day. Rates are $8 per hour, $56 for 24 hours, and the date night special, overnight (6 p.m.  to 8 a.m.) is $35. The rate includes gas, physical damage protection and maintenance.

“The application fee of $20 is being waived for current students, and the first year’s membership fee of $35 is credited back to the account towards their first rentals,” said Breanne Bolin, business rental sales executive with WeCar.

So far, there are 70 members at Iowa State supporting sustainability initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as relieving congestion and parking demands on campus.

Everyone in the ISU community who is 18 or older is eligible to apply for a membership.