Throughout this academic year, Student Congress has been working to provide better public transit options for students through a new ad-hoc committee, the Public Transit Initiative. The most recent plan of action is the “WeCar” Plan from Enterprise, a program that would bring ride share to campus for student use.
The program would fulfill one of the year long goals of Student Congress for providing a safe means of off-campus transportation to students. Colin Berr, a member of the Transportation Committee in Student Congress, has worked closely with fellow committee members and Jerry Brody to complete this project.
“I’m proud of the Public Transit Initiative and working with Student Congress and Jerry Brody on this project,” Berr said. “[The program is] a great deal…[and] a tremendous asset for the Southwestern community.”
Berr highlighted that students could reserve these rental cars via an online system for eight dollars an hour (nine on weekends) to do anything from running errands around town or taking a trip to Austin. The price would not change with an increased amount of passengers, so the hourly rate could be split between multiple parties.
Participation in the program would require a valid driver’s license as well as a $35 membership deposit with Enterprise. However, the deposit would count towards a rental credit for the student.
“The deposit helps to create a commitment,” said Berr.
The available rental cars would be midsize sedans, mixing elements of safety with affordable and effective gas mileage.
Student Congress President Brady Kent was pointed out the potential benefits of this program.
“The benefits include reducing the demand for parking on campus, as some students may choose to not bring cars, and the ability for students who don’t own cars to get off campus easily, among others,” Kent said.
Berr added that alleviating parking problems and reducing cars on campus would also help make Southwestern more environmentally friendly.
Berr indicated that the program would start with only one car, predicting the coming of several subsequent cars after the preliminary one.
Both Kent and Berr predict the likely initiation of this program to be in time for the 2012-2013 school year.
“I’m not going to guarantee anything until the contract is signed since it’s still under review,” Kent said, “but if it all works out we would start up in August.”