Short-term service to maximize car sharing on college campus

By Molly Kearney
September 25, 2008

Lack of transportation on Cabrini’s campus is a problem for many students, but with PhillyCarShare, the office of student activities is looking to see if it might be able to fix that problem. PhillyCarShare, a short-term car-sharing service located on campus, would allow Cabrini students to rent a car, make reservations online and rent the car anywhere from an hour to several days.

Anne Fillippone, Cabrini’s director of student activities, has recently been exploring what PhillyCarShare can do for Cabrini. Fillippone said she realized Cabrini was in need of something like this when studying the class of 2011 and their interest in finding alternative ways of transportation off campus.

According to Julie Robinson, marketing and development manager for PhillyCarShare, there are two plans?advantage and basic freedom. Advantage plan is for a student who would use the service several times a month and would pay a monthly fee. Basic freedom plan is for the student who occasionally needs a car. The only catch is the fee is higher with a one-time, nonrefundable application, but the student would not be paying a monthly fee. Even international students can apply for PhillyCarShare.

PhillyCarShare is simple. A student who is over 18 signs up and is given a key that would allow them access to any car in the entire region. Students go online make a reservation for whatever car they would like, the location and how long they will get it. The car just needs to be returned to the location the student picked it up at.

The goal of PhillyCarShare is “to maximize the economic, environmental and social benefits of reduced automobile dependence in the Philadelphia region through community-based car sharing.”

That is PhillyCarShare’s mission. PhillyCarShare provides low-emission vehicles on every street, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that people’s need to own and over use cars would decrease.

Robinson said, “PhillyCarShare has grown into the largest regional, nonprofit car sharing organization in North America and has positively impacted the Philadelphia region in many of the ways that we had envisioned.” Robinson went on to explain that their customers now do eco/ friendly activities such as walk, bike and take public transportation in order to help the environment. With the help of PhillyCarShare, Cabrini could help make a difference in the current green movement going on around the world.

Jackie Schmidt, freshman communication major, feels that PhillyCarShare would be a fabulous alternative to the shuttle. Schmidt said, “The buses are hard to catch and not frequent enough. Renting a car through PhillyCarShare would be convenient just to go to the grocery store.” Schmidt also went on to explain that the shuttle schedule is hard to read and sometimes she has missed the shuttle or the shuttle had already made its next stop early, and had forced her to wait until it went again. Schmidt feels that PhillyCarShare would be a perfect addition to Cabrini since many students have difficulty with transportation off campus.

Lisa Stockton, junior social work major, said that she would use PhillyCarShare but that people may take advantage of the cars provided. Stockton tries to limit her off-campus activity when she can get a ride off campus but does not want be a nuisance to others. So in the end, PhillyCarShare would work for her but it would not be something she would take advantage of frequently.

PhillyCarShare is something that many local colleges have taken advantage of. Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges have had successful programs. PhillyCarShare would allow Cabrini’s students to venture off campus while at the same time help keep our environment healthy. Currently, Cabrini and PhillyCarShare are working out the details for a partnership. Fillippone hopes to pilot PhillyCarShare this spring, but if not then fall 2009.

Molly Kearney

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