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Short-term Zipcar rentals come to Queens College

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As part of the initiative to green its campus, Queens College has brought some literal green to Kissena Boulevard: Zipcars, whose lime green logo means drivers can inexpensively rent a vehicle for a few hours.

The campus is now home to two vehicles, a hybrid Toyota Prius and a Volkswagen Jetta, which can be found inside the main Kissena Boulevard entrance. The college said it chose Zipcar for its technology and operations, membership experience and track record of providing schools with a transportation solution both cost effective and environmentally friendly.

Zipcar is an 8-year-old Boston-based company that allows its members to reserve and use cars stationed for short periods of time around various cities in the United States and Canada. Membership is $50 per year after a $25 application fee. Zipcar users may reserve any of more than 5,000 cars throughout the country — 1,300 in New York alone — online at prices starting at $10.50 per hour for, say, quick trips to Ikea, appointments or interviews, with the company paying for insurance and gas.

"We're delighted to offer the Queens College community and our neighbors the Zipcar option," said Katharine Cobb, vice president for finance and administration. "We hope many will take advantage of this environmentally preferred alternative to full-time car use."

Besides introducing Zipcars on campus, in recent years Queens College has launched sustainability efforts including recycling paper, cardboard, metal, beverage bottles and cans. Since September 2007, Queens College has recycled 100,000 pounds of metal and since February 2008 it has withheld about 31 tons of paper from the waste stream, the school said.

Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at achristodoulides@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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