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.
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,"
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 www.carsharing.net
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 www.zipcar.com 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.
Boulevard, Suite 200, Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540-6618. Thomas
M. Sullivan, CEO and owner. 609-452-8500; fax, 609-452-7212.
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.
08530. John Martorana, president. 609-397-4242; fax, 609-397-8863.
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
website complete with marketing tips (www.adspublicrelations.com).
Schragger does logo development, brochures, client newsletters, media
coverage, special event planning, seminars, direct mail pieces, display
ads, press releases, and marketing plans.
MIW Network (www.radiomiw.com), 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
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