Bree Adams – Features editor. In an effort to make transportation more accessible to its students, Linfield College has adopted the national U Car Share program.
“Half of Linfield students don’t have a car, and there is little access to public transportation,” Dan Preston, dean of enrollment services, said. “We asked the students what would work to their best interests.”
Administrators sped past several ideas before parking at U Car Share.
A Linfield shuttle was not the answer. Vehicle usage and associated costs, even without charging additional fees, would have proved unpopular with students. Larger car-share companies would charge Linfield more, and the college would have needed to cover the difference if the cars weren’t driven enough during the year. This didn’t sit well with administrators.
U Car Share, already popular in Portland and with Virginia Tech and UC Berkeley, offered the best deal to both parties.
Two U Car Share PT Cruisers are now parked in the reserved spaces outside Withnell Commons. More cars will be made available if demand increases.
Cars are rented for an hourly or daily rate that covers gas, insurance and maintenance fees. Members can rent cars not only on campus but from any U Car Share location.
The cars will be available for a year, including next summer, to measure the success of the program.
“For some students, this could mean they don’t need to bring their car to campus this year,” Preston said. “Parking permits alone are $85. For that much, students could have driven nine hours in a U Car Share car.”
Students, faculty and McMinnville residents can sign up and reserve a car at www.ucarshare.com. A $25 one-time membership fee is required, but it can be waived with the promotional code “LINFIELD2009,” which only charges $5 to ensure an active card account.