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Upstate Medical University pulls Zipcars into its lots

By Rick Seltzer


SYRACUSE — The State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University has steered the car-sharing network Zipcar, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIP) to its campus.

Two Zipcar vehicles, a Ford Focus and a Honda Civic, will park in campus lots near Geneva Tower, which is the medical university’s new residence hall at 500 Harrison St. in Syracuse. The cars will be self-service and accessible to Zipcar members 24 hours a day.

Upstate Medical University students, faculty, and staff members who are at least 18 years old will be able to join the Zipcar network for a $25 annual membership fee. Members can then rent the on-campus vehicles by the hour or by the day.

Both vehicles housed outside of Geneva Tower cost $69 per day, according to Zipcar’s website. Their hourly rates are different, with the Ford Focus costing $7.50 per hour and the Honda Civic costing $8.50 per hour. Zipcar’s rates include gas, insurance, roadside assistance, and up to 180 miles of driving per day.

“Introducing Zipcar to the Upstate campus continues our work on fulfilling our sustainability mission,” SUNY Upstate Vice President for Facilities and Planning Tom Pelis said in a news release. “Providing this alternative to students, faculty, and employees will reduce daily commuter traffic and lessen Upstate’s carbon footprint.”

Zipcar members who are not affiliated with the medical university and are at least 21 years old will also be able to rent the vehicles outside of Geneva Tower. The cars are not Zipcar’s only vehicles in Syracuse — the company also partners with Syracuse University.

Cambridge, Mass.–based Zipcar has over 730,000 members and 11,000 vehicles in major metropolitan areas in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Austria. It partners with more than 250 universities in the United States.

The company increased its revenue by 15 percent to $70.8 million in the second quarter of 2012. It reported a net loss of $422,000, or 1 cent per share, for the period.


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