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Chapter 5 The Role of Partners 5.9 Universities Universities are a fertile ground for car-sharing because, as a generaliza- tion, the student and faculty population are more attuned to environmental impacts than the population at large. In addition, universities frequently have very constrained parking. Because parking and transportation func- tions cannot usually draw from academic funds, universities need to explore innovative parking management strategies in order to be self-sufficient. They are more readily able to implement new parking strategies since, as self-contained organizations, they are able to control their own parking fa- cilities. Furthermore, their marketing efforts are easier to target than most, in that communication mechanisms are usually in place and everyone has a similar destination. Despite these similarities, universities vary in their settings. Some are urban and can be easily integrated into a car-sharing operator's regular fleet, such as the University of California in Berkeley and Massachusetts Institute of Technology near Boston. In both these instances, the car-sharing operator has vehicles placed on the campus as well as in locations around the commu- nity. In more suburban settings, car-sharing is a stand-alone project focused only on the campus. Stanford University in Palo Alto, California and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill are two such examples. Goals and Benefits A key goal of universities is to reduce parking demand. At some universi- ties, this goal has been linked to a TDM program, where the overall goal of managing the system also encompasses an emphasis on environmental leadership. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wiscon- sin at Madison, and Portland State University in Oregon, car-sharing is one of the TDM strategies offered to campus affiliates. The programs include other alternative transportation modes as well, such as free or subsidized transit passes and vanpooling and ridesharing. Reducing parking demand is a goal of these campuses, as it is at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT is further spurred to include car-sharing as a strategy, since Cambridge, its host city, limits how much parking the University can have. Sustaining the environment was one of the goals of the University of Victoria in British Columbia when it introduced car-sharing on its campus. Similarly, Page September 2005 5-48

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Car-Sharing: Where and How It Succeeds car-sharing fits into the goal of the Tufts Climate Initiative, at Tufts Univer- sity in Massachusetts. Tufts, which has a strong environmental movement, decided to do something itself to reduce climate emissions, since it judged that government action was slow or non-existent. There was a two-year discussion about the fact that car-sharing might actually increase emissions, since it might encourage non-drivers to drive. Ultimately, the decision was made to include car-sharing in the Climate Initiative, particularly since two of the vehicles are electric, given to Tufts by a donor. The University of Washington in Seattle experiences parking problems because of its bucolic setting--a campus spread out over 750 acres and bordered by water on two sides. Maximizing parking availability, while limiting the number of peak-hour vehicle trips, is the University's primary goal. "We know that people can feel stranded on campus without having a car to use--Flexcar fills this need," said Lisa Quinn, Public Information Specialist with the University's Transportation Office.2 Finding a Partner There is no definite pattern of who initiates the partnership between a university and a car-sharing operator. Sometimes the car-sharing operator recognizes the opportunity a campus provides for new business; other times the university itself seeks out car-sharing as another strategy for its parking and TDM programs. At Stanford University in California, for example, the university issued a Request for Proposals in 2003 to obtain a car-sharing operator. One of its requirements was that the operator admit 18-20 year olds as members. Two bidders responded. Ultimately, the original operator who was chosen closed the program because of a lack of demand, but Enterprise Rent-A-Car has taken over, offering hourly rentals through its regular rental office.3 Service is available to 18-20 year olds who can present proof of full-coverage car insurance. The situation at University of Victoria in British Columbia was reversed. The University sought out an operator, Victoria Car Share (VCSC). However, VCSC asked that a core group of 24 members be recruited first, in order to 2. Quote from "Flexcar Broadens Options for University of Washington Students, Staff and Faculty," a case study published by Flexcar. 3. The high cost means that the service is similar to half-day rentals, rather than hourly. As of March 2005, the cost was $14 per hour, slightly less than half the $33 daily fee. City CarShare's rate was $4 per hour, or $2 per hour off-peak. Page 5-49

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Chapter 5 The Role of Partners prove that there would be a viable market. An ad hoc group at the Univer- sity organized afternoon workshops and sent notices to staff, faculty and students. Today the VCSC car on the campus is the second most popular in the VCSC fleet. Zipcar approached MIT about car-sharing as a no-cost proposal to the University. This was an incentive to partner, according to MIT's opera- tions manager, because, "We can be a good citizen of Cambridge" without additional cost. Campus members themselves pay $25 a year, but are not assessed any application or security fee. Types of Support Parking and promotion of car-sharing are universally offered by the nine universities interviewed for this research. Several are considering using car-sharing to reduce departments' fleets, and several offer subsidies to car- share members. Car-sharing is also incorporated in policies on campuses that have TDM programs. Marketing Most of the universities hold campus events where car-sharing is featured along with other alternatives to the single-occupant automobile. Most also have an established communications network, such as e-mails to staff, em- ployee newsletters, new student orientations, and websites. This network is utilized to promote car-sharing and other alternative modes. Materials are usually provided by the car-sharing operator. Below is a sampling of these marketing methods: The University of Victoria's campus calendars advertise the TDM program on the back, including information on car-sharing. MIT and Stanford University place signs advertising car-sharing in the campus shuttles. The University of Washington pays for weekly ads in the student newspaper. The University of Pennsylvania includes car-sharing information in the packets sent to new students, which advise them not to bring vehicles to campus. In order to be effective, marketing needs to occur in a supportive environ- ment and be appropriately targeted. For example, car-sharing parking that is not convenient, parking rates that make car-sharing uncompetitive, and lack of transit can all counteract the best marketing campaign. The Univer- Page September 2005 5-50

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Car-Sharing: Where and How It Succeeds Exhibit 5-26 Car-Sharing at the University of Washington The University of Washington in Seattle spent $40,000 on marketing car-sharing in 2002-03. The marketing campaign included rate cards at nine commuter centers around campus; signs on parking stalls; direct mail to all faculty, staff and students; newspaper ads; departmental e-mails; banners and signs; informational meetings; and material on the website and in student registration packets. Despite these efforts, staff judges the results to be "very modest" in reducing solo driving to campus. Although car-sharing is perceived very positively by members, there is little awareness among the wider campus community. Staff points out that car-sharing is a "tough sell" when 95% of staff and faculty own cars; parking is available on campus for less than $7 per day; and other TDM programs such as the Upass have already brought about substantial reductions in auto commuting. Only 23% of staff, faculty and students now drive to campus, making it difficult to achieve further gains. Transportation staff now plans to conduct more targeted marketing, rather than broad-brushed techniques such as direct mail to all faculty, staff, and students. Efforts will focus on signing up departmental members, using Flexcar as a substitute for pool cars. sity of Washington experienced this disappointment when, despite a com- prehensive campaign, survey results showed that there were no significant changes in commute habits. (See Exhibit 5-26 for details.) Administration Just as with any employer, universities do not give outside businesses direct access to their employees and students. Therefore, the most com- mon administrative help given is assistance with marketing. Usually, the car-sharing operator will supply promotional materials and the university staff will distribute it. The university staff time spent is generally minimal. For example, staff at Portland State University in Oregon estimate that the Administrator spends about five hours a month and the Alternative Trans- portation Coordinator spends another 10 hours a month on the car-sharing program. There are some exceptions, however. For example, Zipcar provides service at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, which is remote from the firm's major markets in Boston, New York and Washington, DC. For this reason, university staff provides operational and maintenance assistance. Parking Given the tight parking supply on most campuses, parking is one of the most significant types of support that a university can give. Indeed, given Page 5-51

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Chapter 5 The Role of Partners that universities generally control the entire campus parking supply, car- sharing would not even be possible without this type of support. Of the nine universities who were interviewed for this research, six provide free parking to the car-share operator, even when everyone else has to pay. Three universities discount the car-share parking fee. MIT provides five free parking spaces to Zipcar on its campus. All but one can also be used by non-campus members of Zipcar. If MIT charged for the spaces, they would have a value of $10,000 per year, which MIT figures is its cost to provide and maintain them. The University of Victoria has taken an intermediate approach (Exhibit 5- 27). The VCSC vehicle was allowed to park free for the first two years of the program, but now pays full price. Future car-sharing vehicles will be required to pay for parking as a result of a recent agreement between the University and VCSC. The agreement covers a multi-year partnership that will result in a substantial investment into and expansion of car-sharing on campus. Flexcar has two discounted parking spaces on Portland State University's campus. The car-share operator is permitted to pick the spaces it considers most advantageous and is charged half of the regular fee for reserved park- ing, or $70.50 per month per space. The City of Portland has granted Flexcar another six on-street parking spaces within the campus boundaries. Memberships Most universities have pool cars for departments' use. This fleet can be a very large expense to the university, especially for those campuses that do Exhibit 5-27 Dedicated parking not charge the full cost to the departments. Recognizing the potential cost- space for car-sharing at the savings, several of the universities said that they were trying to convince University of Victoria. departments to enroll in car-share memberships and give up their pool ve- hicles. Such memberships could boost the car-sharing operator's revenues while saving money for the university. This concept is still in the fledgling stage on campuses, however. Barriers can be resistance to change and the perceived convenience of having a vehicle dedicated exclusively to a depart- ment (see Chapter 6 for an extended discussion). More successful is the idea of subsidizing memberships for campus affiliates. Universities generally are not inclined to give direct funding to operators, unlike some of the other partners described in the preceding sections of this chapter. Rather, they support the car-sharing program by buying or Page September 2005 5-52

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Car-Sharing: Where and How It Succeeds Exhibit 5-28 University of Wisconsin Subsidizes Car-Sharing The University of Wisconsin in Madison bought 200 trial memberships for campus employees at $50, equal to a $10,000 subsidy for the car-sharing operator. In exchange, Community Car placed one car on campus in a free, signed parking space on a covered ramp. The value of the free space is $1,015 a year, the cost if a campus employee purchased it. The space is in a core sector of the campus at the front of the ramp. People with trial memberships received five hours and 50 miles of free car-sharing usage. All but about 12 memberships have been distributed. Between 60-70% of those who received the trial membership then joined personally after the trial period. Now, instead of buying memberships, the University of Wisconsin has refined its subsidy of the program. In order to sustain the program, which has been in existence about a year, the University pays Community Car quarterly by calculating the difference between what Community Car is making in usage fees and their costs to break even. underwriting memberships, which gives the operator a predictable source of income. One such example from the University of Wisconsin is highlighted in Exhibit 5-28. Another example is the program at Portland State University (PSU). Em- ployees who work full time, buy a transit pass, and do not have a campus parking pass are eligible to join the Flexcar program. Members have the use of eight Flexcars located on or nearby campus between 8 AM and 6 PM with a maximum usage of four hours per day. PSU uses parking revenue to pay $2,000 per month to Flexcar for all employee members' usage of car-sharing at the university. In return, Flexcar has waived the first year membership fee of $35 for each employee who joins. According to PSU staff, those who don't join the program "think there must be a catch--it can't be all that good." However, the program is expanding through word-of-mouth promotion by members. PSU has also agreed to buy 20 Flexcar memberships distributed by lottery to the 380 residents in new student housing. Planning, Policy and Tax Issues As mentioned earlier, car-sharing has become part of several universities' policies, when it has been integrated into their TDM programs. For example, the Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin saw car-sharing programs in Europe and expressed interest in incorporating it into the existing campus TDM program. The University is in the process of updating its Master Plan, which will have a transportation section where car-sharing will also be in- cluded. Sustainability programs, such as those at the University of Victoria and Tufts, are other examples of linkage with university policies. Page 5-53

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Chapter 5 The Role of Partners Transit Integration Universities who offer transit pass programs often combine them with car- sharing as an added incentive. People sometimes drive instead of taking transit because they worry about how they will do needed errands on their lunch hour or how they will get home if they have to work late. Car-shar- ing alleviates these worries and provides a good complement to transit pass programs. For example, Portland State University's subsidy of car-sharing member- ships, described above, goes hand-in-hand with its transit pass program. Employees receive a two-thirds subsidy on transit passes; student passes are subsidized by 30%. When employees and students buy their subsidized passes, they are given an information packet explaining the car-sharing program. Those enrolled in the Upass transit discount program at the University of Washington also get discounts in the Flexcar car-sharing program. Upass holders receive a reduced car-sharing membership of $5 and steep hourly deductions on usage. Page September 2005 5-54