Media Watch

Corrections or additions?

This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the October 16, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Wheels When You Need Them

Carless in Princeton? If so, you might want to look

into Zipcar. The service allows members to rent a car on the Internet

by the hour at rates that generally work out to less than the cost

of a traditional rental car.

The Princeton area Zipcar sponsor is the Institute for Advanced Study

(IAS), whose members receive exceptionally favorable terms, but anyone

is invited to join up and zip around in a Zipcar.

Michael Ciccone, administrative services supervisor at the Institute,

says two main factors started him on a search that turned up Zipcar,

a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company whose slogan is "Wheels

When You Want Them." First of all, scholars come to the Institute

for Advanced Study from all over the world, often for relatively short

periods of time. Lovely as the Institute’s bucolic setting is, sometimes

people want to get away for a bit.

"We provide a shuttle to town and back," says Ciccone, but

before Zipcar there was no easy way for members to get to the grocery

store, a friend’s house, or a doctor’s appointment.

The situation became more difficult when New Jersey adopted a "Twelve

Month Rule." It prohibits non-immigrants with a valid status of

less than one year from obtaining a New Jersey license, and from buying,

leasing, or registering a vehicle. Many IAS members fall under the

12 month rule. With a valid license from their own country they can

still rent a car, but that is their only option, and, says Ciccone,

it is expensive and inconvenient.

"They have to take a taxi to rent a car, and a taxi back again,"

he says.

Ciccone, seeking to make getting around easier for the Institute’s

members, went to the Internet. There he found several organizations

offering innovative membership car sharing. (Check

for up-to-date information.) The concept is popular in Europe, and

began in the United States about two years ago. So far, car sharing

is centered in big cities, making the Institute for Advanced Study

a pioneer in introducing the concept in the ‘burbs.

The Institute provides a parking space for its Zipcar, a Volkswagen

Golf, but a positive for the organization is that its responsibility

pretty much ends there. Members register for the service and reserve

the car online. When it is time to take off, a member merely waves

his access card at the car, opens the door, finds the keys in the

ignition, and drives away.

There are no lines to wait in, and no papers to sign.

Individuals who want to get in on Zipcar, but who are not Institute

members, pay an application fee of $30 plus an annual membership fee

of $75 and a one-time $300 security deposit. Members, faculty, and

staff pay only a $20 annual fee, which is credited toward usage charges.

It costs $8 an hour and 40 cents a mile to drive the Zipcar. The maximum

daily rate is $65 from Monday through Thursday and $75 on weekends,

which includes 125 miles. Additional miles are billed at 18 cents


Night owls get a real bargain. Usage from midnight to 6 a.m. is charged

as only one hour, plus mileage. If the vehicle is reserved before

midnight and ends at 6 a.m., charges are levied for the hours prior

to midnight only.

Zipcar members can check out a Zipcar anywhere. Among current sites

are many locations in New York City, Boston, and Washington D.C.,

including a number on college campuses. Rates are higher in New York

City, up to $14 an hour, and lower elsewhere, with a $6 hourly charge

in Washington D.C.

Ciccone cautions that while the Zipcar is a fine way to run errands,

a rental car most likely would be less expensive for more protracted


He says the Institute will get an additional car for each 20 members

who sign up, and reports that the New Jersey Department of Transportation

is looking into putting Zipcars at train stations.

For information on becoming a Zipcar member, go to the company’s website

at Before long, you too could find yourself in a parking

lot waving a plastic card at a car, ready for a no-hassles drive to

the new Lowe’s, or maybe just a head-clearing, leaf-peeping spin into

Bucks County to watch the leaves change.

Top Of Page
Media Watch

Princeton Partners Inc./Devcom, 100 Village

Boulevard, Suite 200, Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540-6618. Thomas

M. Sullivan, CEO and owner. 609-452-8500; fax, 609-452-7212. Home


The 40-person ad agency expanded with a move earlier this month from

9,000 square feet at 2 Research Way to 12,600 feet at 100 Village

Boulevard, Suite 200, a sublease from InsureHitech.

Founded in 1965, the agency does advertising, interactive public relations,

direct marketing, database marketing, and sales promotion.

Oxford Communications Inc., 1495 Highway 179, Lambertville

08530. John Martorana, president. 609-397-4242; fax, 609-397-8863.

E-mail: Home page:

The 32-person agency moved from 7,000 square feet on Main Street at

the Laceworks in Lambertville to 10,000 square feet at the former

restaurant, Yellow Brick Toad.

Founded in 1986, the firm does advertising, public relations, and

marketing for real estate, health care, tourism, retail and financial

services organizations.

Arlene Schragger is celebrating the 15th anniversary of her

firm, ads Public Relations and Marketing, by setting up a new

website complete with marketing tips (

Schragger does logo development, brochures, client newsletters, media

coverage, special event planning, seminars, direct mail pieces, display

ads, press releases, and marketing plans.

The Most Influential Women in Radio group has formed the

MIW Network (, an online database presenting radio

news, issues, and bios of women in radio. Registration is free. Joan

Gerberding, principal in Nassau Media Partners, is spokesperson for

the group.

Previous Story Next Story

Corrections or additions?

This page is published by

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments