Aubrey Carr/ Staff Writer
Anyone who has ever visited Miami is well aware of the struggles that accompany not having a car or a friend with one. Students who live on FIU’s campus without access to a vehicle are nearly stranded; even getting groceries at the nearest Publix can be miles away from the dorms most centrally located on campus. But there may be an answer to taking that day trip to Wynwood or an alternative to carrying no more than two bags of groceries at a time across the highway.
FIU recently partnered with Zipcar, a company that has been renting out vehicles for a surprising 18 years. Students pay $15 – a discounted price thanks to sponsorship from Ford – and can use a car for as little as an hour to as long as a week, so a quick trip to the doctor’s office or a road trip to New Orleans are equally as possible. Insurance and gas costs are included in the application and annual fee, making for even less hassle than a normal rental.
Of course, there are limitations on who can join Zipcar. The student must be a licensed driver in any country, at least 18, and must have no more than a maximum of two driving incidents within the past three years and zero in the past eighteen months. If you’re under 25, Zipcar can be the least expensive way of going about getting a rental car, since it’s challenging to find a place that will not only rent a car out to someone under 25 and without violating your wallet.
On the whole, this is a brilliant idea. Miami is one of the world’s greatest cities and deserves to be easily explored by all who visit and inhabit it. Without a good bus or metro system, and with such a modern city plan, cars are necessary to see more than the shelter of FIU’s campus.
The only concerning part of Zipcar relates to its fueling system. As mentioned, gas costs are covered with the one-time application fee and the annual membership fee. This means that when you need to fuel up, you use the Zipcar card you receive as a member and the bill is sent to the company. At first, this sounds phenomenal to a broke college student, but it could negatively impact the environment if the people who use Zipcar take advantage of the company’s bank account that’s bound to be bigger than any undergraduate’s.
Zipcar seems fantastic and it’s a pleasure to have this as an option, but keep in mind that it’s not always a necessity to get around by car. Overcoming a little laziness can be a more beneficial solution to the environment and one’s health. By all means, enjoy the wonders Miami and the world have to offer, and have fun being behind the wheel! As always, with great power comes great responsibility. Even the best rental option for a desperate college kid must be approached with the wisdom to refrain from taking advantage and creating a bigger carbon footprint.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Photo taken from Flickr.