Georgia Southern University is teaming with WeCar, a car-sharing program by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to offer students, faculty and staff a creative new transportation option. Georgia Southern is the first university or business in the state of Georgia to offer the unique service.
"We are very excited to be working with WeCar on this exciting new program," said Kristi Bryant, director of parking and transportation at Georgia Southern. "This program is ideal for students looking for an economical way to get around town, take a road trip to Savannah or to go home for the weekend."
WeCar allows students, faculty and staff to rent cars - a Nissan Cube or Toyota Prius - for a few hours at a time, for an entire day or even overnight. The service provides students with a transportation option if they do not have a car on campus, or do not want to add mileage to their own vehicle.
The WeCar vehicles are parked in designated spots in two separate locations on campus (Lot C between Centennial Place and Watson Hall and Lot 21 outside of the Russell Student Union), providing easy access. Drivers must be at least 18 years old and pre-registered as WeCar members.
Allen Muldrew, executive director of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, said he is very excited to see alternative transportation options for students.
"Ultimately, we would really like to see some form of public transportation running between downtown and the Georgia Southern campus," he said. "I know this program isn't that, per se, but it is a start, and it is another way for students to come and experience downtown. I would love to see a WeCar parked on Main Street."
Betsy Nolen, assistant director of communications for GSU, confirmed that initially, the WeCar fleet will have two cars available for rent.
For a $35 annual membership fee, students, faculty and staff can rent one of the vehicles. Fuel, insurance and up to 200 miles are included. Unlike most rental programs that require renters to be at least 25 years of age, WeCar requires that drivers be 18 years of age with a valid driver's license. The first 100 members who sign up receive a $35 driving credit for use toward an hourly, daily or overnight rental.
The program is particularly attractive to parents because of the cost savings in gas, maintenance, insurance, parking permits and more.
"You'll only pay for the time you use the vehicle," says Eddie Mills, director of auxiliary services at Georgia Southern. "We anticipate a lot of interest in the program and hope to add additional vehicles as more and more students begin taking advantage of this unique program."
The program is already up and running much to the delight of students like Cathony Reid from Stone Mountain, Ga.
"This is my freshman year at Georgia Southern and my mom did not want me to have a car," Reid said. "The WeCar program allows me to get around and not have to rely on friends for rides. It has been a really big help and I definitely plan on using it more."
Current WeCar car-sharing partners include: Mountain View, CA, Washington University in St. Louis, City of Nashville, TN, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, City of Raleigh, NC, University of Missouri-Columbia, Loyola University New Orleans and Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.
"With more than 20,000 students attending Georgia Southern from every U.S. state and nearly 100 countries around the world, not everyone brings a car to campus," Bryant said. "This new program provides our students with a great option to get around whether it is a short trip to the store or going home for the holidays."
For more information, visit: www.wecar.com or follow WeCar at Georgia Southern on Twitter @WeCarGSU.