New car share program offers benefits to carless students

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Students without cars won’t have to hitchhike or beg their roommates for rides to Sand Hollow anymore, thanks to a new car share program at Dixie State University.  

The Enterprise CarShare program will allow students and employees at DSU to rent a four-door Nissan sedan for an hourly rate of $5. So far, there is only one car available at DSU, but Seth Gubler, director of housing and resident life, said more may be added if enough people are utilizing the program. 

“The plans are contingent on usage,” Gubler said. “The more people interested, the more cars we’ll be able to bring down.”

Gubler said since announcing the program last month, 11 people have signed up. He said all you need to participate in the program is to be 18 years of age, have a driver’s license and a credit card. 

“When we built Campus View Suites, the concern was parking,” Gubler said. “Now, when people look into attending [DSU], they’ll be able to know there are other transportation options available to them so not everyone will have to bring car when they come to school.”

Besides the car share program, students can also ride Suntran busses for free with their student ID card, Gubler said.

When people sign up for the car share program, they will receive an Enterprise CarShare membership card in the mail. They can then make the reservations online, for as long as they need the car. Reservations can even go overnight, Gubler said. 

After swiping the membership card over a sensor on the windshield, the car unlocks and the key will be inside. Liability protection and fuel, which is replenished after each trip by an Enterprise employee, are provided.  

Gubler said it was “pretty straightforward” to bring the car share program to DSU, even though the Enterprise office in Salt Lake City will be managing the program. He said administrators contacted Enterprise about the car share program, and then DSU General Counsel Doajo Hicks worked out the legalities with the car rental company. 

Greg Phillips, an Enterprise CarShare spokesman, said the Enterprise CarShare program is already available at 110 colleges across the nation.

“[Enterprise CarShare] is a convenient, affordable alternative for college students that will make fun day trips with friends, grocery shopping, driving to job interviews, and everything in between much easier,” Phillips said. 

Phillips said due to a partnership with Nissan, the application fee of $25 will be brought down to $1, and the $25 annual membership fee for the car share program will be waived for the first year at DSU.

Janae Young, a freshman music major from Washington, said she may look into joining the car share program because she lives near campus and does not own a car. She said she sometimes shares a car with her siblings, but that doesn’t always work out.

“Sometimes I get stuck without a car at all,” Young said. “I’m excited that they have [the Enterprise CarShare] option available for students on campus now. I feel like it will be a huge convenience for those who struggle to find transportation to do their weekly shopping or run other errands across town.”

Students, faculty and staff can sign up for the Enterprise CarShare program at www.enterprisecarshare.com/dixiestate.