Buffalo State is partnering with Buffalo CarShare to make low-cost automobile transportation available to students, faculty, and staff this semester. The program is made possible with the support of the John R. Oishei Foundation.
Two cars have been placed on campus—a 2013 Toyota Prius and a 2013 Kia Soul—in Lot M near Grant Street and Lot C near Cleveland Hall. Download campus map (PDF).
People who sign up for the program will be able to reserve a car for shopping, appointments, interviews, and other off-campus trips.
The campus community is invited to learn more about the program at a kick-off event on Thursday, February 7, at 12:15 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union first-floor lobby near the Student Union Quad, where the cars will be on display. Attendees will be able to register for CarShare immediately afterward.
Buffalo CarShare estimates that this partnership provides the opportunity to free as many as 30 parking spaces on campus as the program grows. “This helps us respond to student concerns about available parking, and demonstrates our commitment to sustainability,” said Michael LeVine, vice president for finance and management.
“By taking advantage of car sharing, members can avoid the cost of a car, car insurance, car maintenance, even gas,” said Creighton Randall, executive director of Buffalo CarShare. “CarShare members are more likely to use healthy, economical, and environmentally friendly forms of transportation.” By reducing dependence on individually owned cars, CarShare members contribute to reduced carbon emissions.
“We’re very grateful for the support from Buffalo State and the John R. Oishei Foundation, which is enabling CarShare to expand its service to new neighborhoods,” said Randall.
Larry Cook, senior program officer of the John R. Oishei Foundation, said, “This is an example of our support to neighborhoods where the benefit of a program like CarShare is needed. We are pleased to see that an institution like Buffalo State, which is a prominent community partner, is responding to that need by supporting this program for their student body and the surrounding community.”
People who want to use the cars must register with Buffalo CarShare using their Buffalo State e-mail account. Members are entitled to use any of the 14 vehicles located throughout the city of Buffalo. The first 100 students who become members receive a promotional membership rate of $5 a month through May 2013. The first 40 faculty or staff members who sign up for personal accounts will also pay this reduced rate. The hourly rate is $8 for students and Buffalo State employees who use a car for personal use. For employees to use the car, their department must register with Buffalo CarShare. When faculty or staff use the car for Buffalo State business—such as faculty visiting schools to observe student teachers—departments will be billed $5.54 per hour with no expense to the driver.
“It’s easy to become a member,” said Randall. “Just visit our web site and sign up.” A $20 application fee covers the cost of looking up a driver’s history, a mandatory orientation, and a key fob which, in conjunction with a reservation, gives members access to a car.
“Becoming a CarShare member makes it easy for students who live on or near campus to go shopping, get to interviews, and make doctor’s appointments,” said Wende Mix, associate professor of geography and planning and chair of the Parking and Transportation Committee. “Plus, it’s a great midday transportation option for employees who walk, bike, or take mass transit to campus.”
To be eligible for membership, a driver must have two years of licensed driving experience and a driving record clear of major moving violations. Drivers under 21 must be covered on a parent or guardian’s insurance policy.
CarShare will continue to work to identify other businesses and community organizations whose partnership will enable the nonprofit to expand its service where it’s needed.
“We have big plans, but it's important to remember the basic appeal of this service,” said Carrie Merritt, business development director for Buffalo CarShare. “I was a member for two years before I started to work here. It’s incredibly convenient for those times when you really need a car.”