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  1. #1
    winter wipeout kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    My University is getting car share...

    I just found out that my university is getting a car share program through Enterprise: Enterprise CarShare - Explore our Car Sharing Programs It looks pretty reasonable: $35 for an annual membership and $7.50/hour includes gas and insurance.

    This could be a really good thing: some of my co-workers and students are tired of dealing with their old cars, and are interested in going car-free (possibly because they see that I ride my bike everywhere and nothing bad has happened.) I think the three months of extreme cold are a deterrent for many people - not everybody enjoys suiting up and riding or walking around in temperatures below 0F, and I wouldn't recommend icebiking to a novice rider.

    Have any other car-free folks used a program like this? I'm thinking of joining just to have another Plan B, but (personally) I can't see using it very often.

  2. #2
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Sounds like Zip car although the rates may be a little lower. It's a great way to get what you need from a car without actually owning one.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    My son uses ZipCar, he lives in Somerville/Boston. He started using it when he was in college at UNC. Works great for him, I believe he said he averages about 6 uses a year. I will be interested to see how well the Enterprise version does. They have rental agencies in a lot of areas so they already have the footprint.

    I don't think the price is outrageous either, especially if you plan ahead to maximize your time.

    I just got the tax/tag bill for my personal truck and it is $100 for the year, plus inspection will add another $15 to that, it would be $45 by my truck is exempt from the OBD/emissions. Insurance is another $360 We drove it less than 3500 miles last year. If I lived in town I probably wouldn't have it anymore.

    I just looked at the website, looks like a decent deal, time will tell if the car will be available when you need it.

    Aaron
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  4. #4
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    Car Sharing-in a most literal sense-has been a fixture of the USA-and everywhere else-from soon after cars became affordable for middle class folks-Model T Ford
    Now that the middle class is under siege-it should make a comeback.

    How in the world can this CAR SHARE be soooooo CHEAP?

    $7.50/HR- you can easily drive 60 miles in an hour-and car and the GOV allows 50 cents per mile off taxes-so $7.50-MUST be subsidized?
    In in a city you can drive 25 miles in an hour- $12.50 at 50 cents per mile-

    So why/how soooooo cheap?? Subsidized??

    Crude calculation-1998 Suburban-costs $900(insurance)+ $800(gas) +$1500 maintenance repair($50 brake tag registration)-+$300 depreciation)figure $3700/yr to drive 3000 miles- $1+ a mile
    2006 Prius $900(insurance) $1000(gas)+ $200 maintenance repair +($50 brake tag etc)+$1500 depreciation figure $3800 for 10,000 miles- or 40 cents per mile-
    Prius is generally considered to have nearly the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) and it is 40 cents per mile
    I actually DIY repair and hyper mile so the old 226,000 mile 98 suburban cost per mile is closer to 50 cents per mile
    Normally a 1/2 ton anything-has the highest TCO- maybe close to $1.50 mile if you buy NEW for $45,000


    So $7.50 hr-must be a subsidized price??
    If 1.5 gallons was used per hour-$6.00???
    Yeah why so cheap-sign me up!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reminder; been meaning to see what options like this exist near me.

    M.

  6. #6
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I used ZipCar a fair bit when living in/around Boston and it did well for what it was. The key is having enough locations near where you want to pick one up. Any trips over ~half a day usually worked out cheaper just renting a car from a traditional rental place but local fees/deals from employers/credit cards/etc. will change that dynamic wherever you happen to be.

    I think phoebeisis' calculations are missing a lot of what the car is used for. We typically reserved one for 3-4 hours for a big grocery trip (or other shopping excursion). For us (and many users like us), it was probably at most 5-6 miles each way to the store we were going to (lets call it 10 for a round trip of 25 when swinging by our house on the way back), but we'd spend an hour or more inside the store, another half hour unloading, and you always built in a fair bit of cushion because you got hit with a $50 late fee if you were at all late in returning it and the next person was waiting (also had to build in a cushion in case the person ahead of you was late - your first hour usually got refunded in that case, but you still had to be back on time). Have to build another cushion for that 1 in 5-6 times that you have to stop and get gas (and as a car-free person that usually meant figuring out where a nearby gas station was). Occasionally, we'd reserve one for a longer trip to Ikea an hour or so away, but that was rare and you'd have to build in even more of a cushion then in case you got stuck in traffic (and we'd want to get our value out of the trip so we'd spend a fair bit of time in the store). What I'm trying to get at is that a lot of the time these cars are reserved they're not actually moving. They're in one parking lot or another.

    They aren't like bike shares where you pick one up at your departure point, return it when you arrive at your destination, and then check a different one out for the trip home. You need to pay for the full round trip, so subsidizing isn't as necessary. I think subsidies more come in terms of deals on (or sometimes free in case of universities trying to get them on campus as a recruiting/sustainability tool) parking spots for the various companies to use as storage/pick up points for the cars.

    Plus, towards the end of our time there, we'd decided grocery delivery was about as cost effective (and I disliked dealing with scheduling the car, so I usually preferred walking the 3-4 mile round trip to a smaller grocery store with my "bag lady cart"), so we often didn't use our membership as much and they just kept pocketing that $75 a year. Kind of like gym memberships that way where they bank on not everyone using the service but still paying the fees.
    Last edited by himespau; 05-15-14 at 02:19 PM.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    ....So why/how soooooo cheap?? Subsidized??
    [...]
    So $7.50 hr-must be a subsidized price??
    If 1.5 gallons was used per hour-$6.00???
    Yeah why so cheap-sign me up!!
    Who would subsidize a car share service? Maybe it's like a wholesale club--the annual fees amount to a lot, and light users more or less subsidize heavier users.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Who would subsidize a car share service? Maybe it's like a wholesale club--the annual fees amount to a lot, and light users more or less subsidize heavier users.
    I was guessing that the university MIGHT subsidize it. It would improve the parking situation,since fewer students would feel the need to own a car-just for it to sit-parked- 98% of the time.
    $7.50/hr seems awfully good.
    I went to the link-couldn't find actual prices-$7.50/hr-can't beat that price.

  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    I was guessing that the university MIGHT subsidize it. It would improve the parking situation,since fewer students would feel the need to own a car-just for it to sit-parked- 98% of the time.
    $7.50/hr seems awfully good.
    I went to the link-couldn't find actual prices-$7.50/hr-can't beat that price.
    Actually, a bike, transit and walking would all beat the price. But I agree that it is cheaper than other car shares I've read about, and a lot cheaper than owning a car you don't use much.

    As as for the U subsidizing it--I would much prefer they fund a bike share if they have a parking issue. And pay for it by jacking up the price for parking on campus.


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  10. #10
    winter wipeout kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    I seriously doubt that the university is subsidizing the car share program...this is Wisconsin.

    I suspect that it's a really good business opportunity for Enterprise, and they're jumping on it. In La Crosse, we have a large population of working class college students, and many of them do not own cars. At the same time, there's only about two months of the academic year that are really pleasant for normal people to ride. The main shopping areas are not within walking distance, the buses are not great, and cab service is unreliable. Hence, it's an ideal scenario for a "car share" or hourly rental program.

    The low cost is probably explained by the fact that everything is cheap here. I was paying just over $30/month for car insurance when I sold my car.

    The university does have a bike rental program, but I really think they could do better. I've tried to talk to some people about starting a bike repair workshop for students - teaching them how to do basic things like inflate their tires and adjust gears, as well as how to ride safely - but nobody seems too interested. Maybe in time!

  11. #11
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    ...and the GOV allows 50 cents per mile off taxes?
    What are you talking about? How does this so-called "GOV" allowance apply to a person using any motor vehicle for shopping or commuting?

  12. #12
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    What are you talking about? How does this so-called "GOV" allowance apply to a person using any motor vehicle for shopping or commuting?
    I think she's just using the IRS allowance for car travel (for business use) as a guesstimate of the per-mile cost of operating a car.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I think she's just using the IRS allowance for car travel (for business use) as a guesstimate of the per-mile cost of operating a car.
    Exactly.
    And the 50 cents is a guess- but in any case if the GOV allows 50 cents or so then safe bet it costs MORE than 50 cents a mile to own a car

    Oh Phoebe and Isis were are first two greyhounds-sweet dogs- Phoebeisis easy to remember and it is a never taken "name de online"
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  14. #14
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Exactly.
    And the 50 cents is a guess- but in any case if the GOV allows 50 cents or so then safe bet it costs MORE than 50 cents a mile to own a car
    You are comparing a cost per unit of time (day/hours), with a cost per distance (miles). The costs per day/hours are fixed (depreciation, registration, insurance) and primarily independent of mileage, while the costs per distance are variable (fuel, tires, replacement of parts, and most maintenance) and are primarily independent of time.

    The government/IRS rate for deducting business travel expenses (which is NOT the proposed use of the subject car share program) is computed by averaging both fixed and variable costs of new car ownership over an extended period of ownership; it is NOT a useful tool to estimate the actual costs of driving for several hours, nor for estimating the actual costs of driving a few hundred miles.
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 05-16-14 at 10:29 AM.

  15. #15
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    You are being more literal than usual.
    It is a crude guesstimate-as Roody said.

    The point-my point- $7.50/hr is a bargain.
    Frankly seems too good if it isn't subsidized.Perhaps they pull them in at one rate planning to slowing increase the rate to maybe $9-$10-just like cable companies-internet providers etc- slo/mo bait and switch.

    Does anyone here have rates for this in other cities??
    I wonder what the range and distance limits are?
    In any case if I was a college student-sign me up!!

  16. #16
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I think prices are similar at the university I work for and I don't know of distance limits. Like I said, they get you with the time the car spends sitting (usually more than half the time you have it checked out). That alone subsidizes the rest of the use.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  17. #17
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    You are comparing a cost per unit of time (day/hours), with a cost per distance (miles). The costs per day/hours are fixed (depreciation, registration, insurance) and primarily independent of mileage, while the costs per distance are variable (fuel, tires, replacement of parts, and most maintenance) and are primarily independent of time.

    The government/IRS rate for deducting business travel expenses (which is NOT the proposed use of the subject car share program) is computed by averaging both fixed and variable costs of new car ownership over an extended period of ownership; it is NOT a useful tool to estimate the actual costs of driving for several hours, nor for estimating the actual costs of driving a few hundred miles.
    Regardless, don't you think the Enterprise cars are a pretty good deal? No matter how you figure it, $7.50/hour seems pretty cheap.

    I just hope that Enterprise figured it correctly. The plan should do well if they correctly estimated their costs.


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  18. #18
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    You are being more literal than usual.
    It is a crude guesstimate-as Roody said.

    The point-my point- $7.50/hr is a bargain.
    Frankly seems too good if it isn't subsidized.Perhaps they pull them in at one rate planning to slowing increase the rate to maybe $9-$10-just like cable companies-internet providers etc- slo/mo bait and switch.

    Does anyone here have rates for this in other cities??
    I wonder what the range and distance limits are?
    In any case if I was a college student-sign me up!!
    Go to their website? From the looks of it they are avoiding competing head to head with Zipcar in the college markets.

    Aaron
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  19. #19
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    Aaron-thanks.
    1st 200 miles free- 25 cents per mile after that-not bad.
    $35 overnight-
    So one overnight per month+ 6 use hours per month--under $80/mo under $1000 a year for motor transportation
    Plenty enough for a student who has a social life of some sort-can't really date by bike.

    A good idea-spares students more debt- students commonly worked to support a car when I was college age.

  20. #20
    winter wipeout kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    You are being more literal than usual.
    It is a crude guesstimate-as Roody said.

    The point-my point- $7.50/hr is a bargain.
    Frankly seems too good if it isn't subsidized.Perhaps they pull them in at one rate planning to slowing increase the rate to maybe $9-$10-just like cable companies-internet providers etc- slo/mo bait and switch.

    Does anyone here have rates for this in other cities??
    I wonder what the range and distance limits are?
    In any case if I was a college student-sign me up!!
    Looking through their website, it appears that rates are significantly higher in some other cities - for Tulane and Loyola, for example, it's $10/hour.

    It could be a bait and switch going on here - it could also be that costs are low for them in Western Wisconsin because we lack both crime and traffic.

  21. #21
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
    Looking through their website, it appears that rates are significantly higher in some other cities - for Tulane and Loyola, for example, it's $10/hour.

    It could be a bait and switch going on here - it could also be that costs are low for them in Western Wisconsin because we lack both crime and traffic.
    The only Enterprise availability in Michigan is in a decidedly rural location in a township near Grand Valley University--also lacking in crime and traffic. The website also says the $35 annual fee is discounted from $50.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
    Looking through their website, it appears that rates are significantly higher in some other cities - for Tulane and Loyola, for example, it's $10/hour.

    It could be a bait and switch going on here - it could also be that costs are low for them in Western Wisconsin because we lack both crime and traffic.
    Car-insurance and probability of a wreck and of theft in NOLA-is high I think(as you suggest) -we pay about $1800/yr for 2 cars-3 people and we claim minimal use-
    We still have fair numbers of uninsured drivers-and drunk and drugged drivers.
    Fuel cost $3.39 for Shell 87 octane yesterday-probably average.

    WESTERN WISCONSIN-yeah probably decent drivers fewer thieves and less traffic.
    Still-$7.50/hr is awfully good-the cheapest "not tiny"car will cost them $16,000-$17,000-Cruise(175" Sonic 155" or so- or Ford ,Dodge equivalent.
    A Spark- 140" or so would be maybe $14000 bought in "bulk"
    Cooler cars- a Mini- could push $20,000 even at Fleet prices
    $7.50/hr great price!!

    Perhaps Enterprise is INTENTIONALLY low balling-but not with the intention of jacking up the price short term.
    Maybe-just maybe- they are planning to hook customers early with the intention of making them long term"don't buy a car customers, just rent one as you need it-even when you become more affluent"

    These students-coming out with plenty of debt-even at $10-$12/hr it would make sense for those living in cities to rent as needed rather than take on the $5000/yr or more that owning a new cars costs.??
    So maybe this is s long term plan by Enterprise-seeing fewer cars owners in USA's future.
    Last edited by phoebeisis; 05-17-14 at 06:57 AM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Aaron-thanks.
    1st 200 miles free- 25 cents per mile after that-not bad.
    $35 overnight-
    So one overnight per month+ 6 use hours per month--under $80/mo under $1000 a year for motor transportation
    Plenty enough for a student who has a social life of some sort-can't really date by bike.

    A good idea-spares students more debt- students commonly worked to support a car when I was college age.
    Really?

    Aaron
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  24. #24
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
    Looking through their website, it appears that rates are significantly higher in some other cities - for Tulane and Loyola, for example, it's $10/hour.

    It could be a bait and switch going on here - it could also be that costs are low for them in Western Wisconsin because we lack both crime and traffic.
    Have you ever read the Urban Dictionary entry on Wisconsin? "Known for driving well, having long conversations with people that have called the wrong number, and giving advice to people in stores who don't know what they are doing."

    You should read the whole definition. It's hilarious!

    Urban Dictionary: Wisco


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Really?

    Aaron
    Yes in the 50's-60's-70's-students and young people in general would go to school-which was relatively cheaper then(LSUBR was $160/semester in 1968) paid for by parents probably,and get some part time job to support a car.
    And yes-males-would get a job and IMMEDIATELY buy a new car- a car that cost them most of their wages-
    Guys worked in gas stations and owned 396 Chevelle-GTO etc-

    Yes USA-E-INS loved cars-literally worked to support a car.
    And yes young males thought cars attracted women-just like some women think guys pay attention to shoes -males thought women were impressed by a 396 Chevelle

    Yes worked at Mickey Dees to own a car

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