If Yale can have it, why can’t we?

By on September 26, 2007

How many times have you had to cancel or alter a trip in order to coordinate with shuttle times? Or used several different sources of public transportation just to go home, or visit another college? It’s the one hassle of being a Quinnipiac student, especially as a freshman who is prohibited from owning a car on campus.

Freshman biology/pre-med major Erin Reid, had to take a Health Service provided car service at a specified time in order to get the proper medication from Walgreen’s, because the shuttle does not go there. She was forced to sit around and wait for the time, and be at the assigned station, and work at the pace of the driver and other students who needed medication.

“One of the girls neglected to bring her insurance cards, so the whole group of us were forced to wait for one girl’s card to be faxed to the pharmacy. I would have rather gone on my own time, therefore avoiding having to wait for other people,” Reid said.

So what would be a solution to this car issue? There is clearly not enough room or facilities for every student to have their own car, especially when it isn’t entirely necessary most hours out of the day. Not to mention that cars are expensive, and would cause further pollution on campus, as well as cost the owner money in gas expenses. Nearby, Yale University may have the answers.

Yale students now have access to zipcar.com, in addition to Hertz, Enterprise and Avis car rental services. There are major differences that are making it easier for these students to have car access. For one, online rentals are more efficient. Students can rent the car straight from their dorm rooms. Also, zipcar.com is willing to provide service to students ages 18 and older, as long as their driving records are clean. Most other companies will only aid 21 year olds.

According to an article in the New Haven Register, these cars are available 24 hours a day, for $8.50 an hour or $65 for the day. The cars include Toyota and Mazda models that are carbon efficient as part of the “green” mission of the website.

Other students also saw the need for for a service similar to Yale’s. Freshman Stefanie Colonnelli complains, “My boyfriend goes to UConn, which is only about 45 minutes driving from campus. However, in order for me to get there using public transportation, it took me six hours, between delays and varied times. Having a car would make it so much easier.”

This is not the only incident of inconvenience. Students traveling home, especially for the recent three-day Yom Kippur weekend, have to get shuttles to Union Station, and from there head home, or transfer in New York City, Boston, or Hartford where they may have to wait for an hour.

Car rentals would provide extra convenience, but unfortunately Assistant Chief for Parking and Transport Ron Colavolpe confirmed doubts about the rental system being brought to Quinnipiac.

While he admits it would be “a good thing for some students who don’t have a car,” he feels that Quinnipiac does not have the facilities to park the cars, or do maintenance on them. He also is hesitant about the negative uses to which the cars could be used, and would “rather have [the students] using the shuttle.”

While it would make trips home, visits and even supermarket runs much more efficient and time-convenient, it seems the Quinnipiac is simply not ready to support such a system.


About Marissa Kameno