LEO DE VELEZ/THE HOYA Three cars were added to Georgetown's Zipcar fleet below the Leavey Center walkway to accomodate the increased number of drivers.
Three cars were added to Georgetown’s Zipcar fleet below the Leavey Center walkway to accomodate the increased number of drivers.

Access to the university’s Zipcar program has been extended to drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 after initially only being offered to those 21 and over.

More than 1,000 people have rented vehicles through the car-sharing program since its introduction to the Georgetown campus this fall, according to university spokeswoman Stacy Kerr.

In anticipation of heightened demand from the relaxed age restriction, three cars were added to Georgetown’s fleet, bringing the total to eight on-campus vehicles. The new cars are located under the Leavey Center walkway, while the five original vehicles are stationed outside McDonough Arena. The Zipcar website also indicates that a vehicle is stationed at 3237 N St., and at the CVS at the corner of Wisconsin and O Streets.

According to Georgetown University Student Association President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13), GUSAand Auxiliary Services had been in discussions from the beginning of last semester to allow younger students to drive Zipcars, citing the urgency of providing alternative transport methods to students in order to alleviate parking strain.

“It’s one of the things that was important to us after the campus plan agreement last summer was in; making sure the student transportation issue was taken really seriously because it affects students, but it also affects the entire campus community,” Gustafson said. “At the beginning of the fall when this program started, it was great that it was starting, but since it was 21-plus, it excluded a large part of the student body, so making sure it was a solution not just for part of the community but the whole community was very important.”

University officials said that although insurance liability issues prevented the age from being lowered last semester, the school moved forward to promote the program for younger drivers.

“We worked in a comprehensive way with GUSA and Zipcar to work as quickly as possible,” Kerr said. “We’re thrilled that this is an option we can give students. … This supports the goals of the city to alleviate parking issues in a dense and urban area.”

D.C. Zipcar’s General Manager Scott Hall was glad to be able to serve students under 21.

“Zipcar is very excited to have the opportunity to expand its presence on campus with the ability to offer membership to students ages 18 [to] 21,” Hall wrote in an email. “We look forward to providing a cost-effective, environmentally-sustainable solution to get around Washington, D.C., for the majority of Georgetown’s student body.”

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