For students, car share program offers a new way to get around

Enterprise by Ian Opaluch2

Wheaton College has partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to offer Enterprise CarShare vehicles to Wheaton students for at least the next two years. The program offers students the opportunity to rent one of a number of cars parked in Lot 4, behind the locksmith and adjacent to the Meadows dorm complex.

“For several years there has been interest from students, faculty and staff in having a car share program on campus,” said Kim Lavallee of Business Services. 

Lavallee said that in the past there was a car share option that the administration was considering, but the school decided not to go with it due to “prohibitive” financial and usage requirements. When other vendors in the area started offering car share programs more recently, Wheaton decided to partner with Enterprise.

Enterprise has a strong relationship with a large number of colleges and universities across the country, with programs at the University of Massachusetts and Northeastern University.

Car rentals cost $8 an hour on weekdays and $6 an hour on weekends. Day passes are available for $65 on weekdays and weekends. Keeping a car overnight is $45. Each car also contains a pre-paid card for gas. 

“I think students, in particular, will enjoy having convenient access to a vehicle to either run errands, go to an appointment or to plan a fun weekend outing at reasonable rates,” Lavallee said. 

The program extends liability protection to people from the ages of 18 to 20, provided that students of these ages have parental consent. The program also allows students with international licenses to participate.

Fees are charged if a car is returned late, although it is possible to extend one’s reservation if no one has reserved the car for later. Members are required to pay for any damages incurred.

Lavallee said that the college’s goal is to “grow the membership so the vehicles are in use on a regular basis.”