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Swarthmore College Partners with Zipcar to Offer Car Sharing on Campus

zip cars in ben west lot

Swarthmore is launching a new partnership with Zipcar, Inc., the world’s leading car sharing network, to offer a Zipcar car sharing program on campus. The convenient transportation option is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for students, faculty, and staff ages 18 and older, as well as members of the local community ages 21 and over.

The College will initially offer two vehicles, a Ford Focus and a hybrid Ford C-MAX. The Zipcars will have designated parking spots located in the Benjamin West Parking Lot located on campus for convenient pick-up and return. Zipcars are available on-demand and can be easily reserved and accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This year, Swarthmore College members can join for $25, with rates for Zipcar vehicles on campus starting at $7.50 per hour and $69 per day. After the first year, members will pay an annual membership fee of $35. Gas, insurance, and up to 180 miles of driving per day are included in Zipcar rates, and cars can be reserved for as little as an hour or for multiple days.  Swarthmore College students, faculty, and staff can join Zipcar at

Swarthmore's Director of Sustainability Laura Cacho, who led the effort to bring Zipcar to campus, is excited by the benefits it will provide the College. 

"The College is working hard at reducing its carbon footprint, but the reality is that our campus is in a suburban location and driving a car is often necessary," Cacho says. "This program will enable staff and faculty who can get to campus without driving to leave their car at home and still be able to run an errand at lunch or travel to an off-campus meeting. For students, it will provide another means to get off-campus for internships, volunteer opportunities, events, or just some fun."

Participating members with smartphones, including iPhones and Android devices, may download the Zipcar mobile application to make reservations, lock and unlock the vehicles and honk the horn to help locate the vehicle.  Reservations can also be made over the phone or on Zipcar’s website.  

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