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Oct 04th
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A Hop, Skip, and Zip Away from Sustainable Driving

blog_fd_for_universitiesSanta Cruz receives a boost for the Zipcar program
Last week, Zipcars, under the direction of local environmental nonprofit Ecology Action, expanded to include more cars for pickup in the downtown and Westside areas.

The Zipcar program, which provides cars for short-term rental, has added four additional vehicles to its inventory of cars that are available for hourly or daily (up to four days) rental. In addition, the cars can be picked up at three new locations in town. The increased access to Zipcars for Santa Cruz residents comes from a collaborative effort with UC Santa Cruz’s Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), according to Piet Canin, program director of EcoAct’s transportation group.

“UCSC has had the Zipcar program geared for students since fall 2007 and now wants to increase access in town,” he says. “Now more people from both UCSC and within the community can use Zipcars.”

Canin stresses the many perks of Zipcar use, which include but are not limited to the fostering of a carpooling community and eliminating the monthly financial stresses of car-ownership (the rental price of a Zipcar includes both gas and insurance). The perks of short-term rentals are even greater in places like Santa Cruz, where many have a short and easy commute to work. “The program has the benefit of reducing travel-alone vehicle trips… people can share rides for easy and more sustainable journeys to work,” says Canin.

Using a Zipcar involves four steps that are outlined on the company’s website: joining, reserving, unlocking, and, finally, driving.  Once a person becomes a member, he or she receives a card. This card will “unlock” one of the 13 available Zipcars available for pick up on the UCSC campus and at easily accessible downtown locations such as the corner of Laurel and Blackburn streets and the corner of Mission and Olive streets (near the Westside CVS).

Overall, Canin is excited about the prospects of the Santa Cruz Zipcar expansion and he is hopeful that the program will grow further.

”Zipcar allows locals to go car-free while still providing access to automobiles,” he explains. “The more locations there are for pickup, the better it becomes for city residents.”

For more information and to sign up to rent a Zipcar, visit

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