UWindsor revs up for car share program

A new car sharing service is giving University of Windsor students a cheaper alternative to owning a car.

The Student CarShare program has two designated parking spots outside Leddy Library. Photo by Maggie Chan.
The Student CarShare program has two designated parking spots outside Leddy Library. Photo by Maggie Chan.

The Student CarShare program has two designated parking spots outside Leddy Library. Photo by Maggie Chan.

Maggie Chan

Reporter

A new car sharing service is giving University of Windsor students a cheaper alternative to owning a car.

When Michael Lende founded Student CarShare, he felt that he was filling a void that colleges had had for a very long time—affordable alternatives to car ownership.

Although he acknowledged the effectiveness of public transportation and other common methods of student transportation, he noted that there was nothing that catered to the 18+age market that was rid of the burden of car ownership.

“It’s a very inexpensive, convenient, and eco-friendly way for students to use their freedom and have access to a vehicle 24/7 without the expense and hassle of owning a vehicle,” Lende explained.

“I wanted to create a socially responsible network of members that can access a vehicle on demand for as little as $8 an hour including gas and insurance,” he said.

The service is currently on 17 campuses across universities in Ontario, including the University of Windsor.

At the University of Windsor, the parking lot behind Leddy Library currently has two cars—models are the Kia Soul and Rio—parked in parking spots that have been designated for the program.

Students are able to drive these cars by becoming members of Student CarShare, which they can do by submitting an application on the program’s website alongside a $25 application fee.

In order to be approved, applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid G2 license and credit card, and have a clean driving record for three years prior.

Following approval, successful applicants must pay a $50 membership fee to be permitted access to drive any vehicle within the Student CarShare network at $8/hour with gas and insurance covered.

“It’s a quick and easy solution,” Lende adds. “You have access to a vehicle 24/7 without its expenses, which could be $400-800 a month. You can even build up your insurance history.”

The program boasts the fact that it is Canadian-owned and student-driven.

Each school has a marketing coordinator and staff who educate students on the program.

Matthew Kirby, a business student and the marketing coordinator of the University of Windsor CarShare team, feels that he’s developing useful entrepreneurship skills and responsibility.

“This job gives me great experience. Everyone on my team is a student here on campus. It was one of the main points that the CEO made—giving jobs to students,” said Kirby.

Kirby and his team of students are responsible for raising awareness about the company and reaching out to students, which he feels is a great idea.

He said that as the word spreads across campus, students from different commuting situations seem to approve of the idea of car sharing.

“When public transportation isn’t a feasible option, students should definitely look into CarShare. I think it’s a great idea,” said Rachel Stadder, a full-time digital journalism and political science student and regular Transit Windsor user.

“I wouldn’t necessarily use it to get to school, but I can see how it would be useful for students living in residence or near campus,”  said Stadder.

Irena Sziler, a French and English student who commutes from Lakeshore, agreed.

“This program is a great go-green idea and it’s definitely going to make a difference in student life. For students in residence, it will give them the opportunity to explore outside of Windsor, considering that most of them are foreign to the area and its surroundings.”

Although the program works specifically around the needs of car-less students, Lende mentions that the program is also available to staff and faculty members on campus who requires the program’s services.

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