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Ref: Enterprise partners with Washington University for car-sharing program

St. Louis Business Journal

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Wash. U., Enterprise Rent-A-Car launch car sharing program

St. Louis Business Journal

Washington University in St. Louis and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are offering another alternative to students, faculty and staff to help deal with the Highway 40 closure: car sharing.

The first-of-its-kind program in St. Louis allows Wash. U. students, faculty, staff and employees over age 18 to rent vehicles at an hourly rate of $10 to $12. The vehicles will be available beginning Monday 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The car-sharing WeCar program, a partnership between Washington University in St. Louis' Parking and Transportation Services and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, is meant to offer students and employees an alternative mode of transportation but it is also meant to promote sustainability. WeCar utilizes six exclusively hybrid vehicles and keeps other cars off the road, reducing carbon emissions, according to a release.

"While many employees and students wanted to explore alternate modes of transportation for commuting, such as public transportation, biking or carpooling, they had a problem if they needed a vehicle during the day for a meeting, an errand or to respond to a family emergency," Lisa Underwood, director of Washington University's Parking & Transportation Services, said in a statement. "We saw this program as a great way to address that problem."

The cars, which are initially four Toyota Prius' and two Ford Escapes, are parked in four areas throughout the Danforth Campus. Those who register for the program receive a key fob, which can be used to unlock the vehicle's doors. Once inside the vehicle, a customer can retrieve the key to the vehicle by entering a pin number into a keypad in the vehicle's glove box. Members only will be able to access the key if they have reserved the car online for that specific time slot.

Fuel and maintenance are included in the hourly rental fee. Members can fill up their cars' tanks with a credit card provided by WeCar. Physical damage protection also is included, though members under age 21 also must have their own car insurance.

WeCar also offers 24-hour customer service and emergency roadside assistance.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the largest privately held company in St. Louis with more than $9 billion in 2006 revenue.

Washington University in St. Louis is a private teaching and research university.

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