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PhillyCarShare: Get registered and ready to hit the road

Eastern University has recently partnered with PhillyCarShare to have a car located at the St. Davids campus. The car will be available for use by students, faculty, staff and administration.

PhillyCarShare is a non-profit organization that encourages protection of the environment through the reduction of car usage.

On Aug. 25, move-in day for incoming students, PCS came to campus with a Toyota Prius to promote awareness. The Prius will be the type of car placed at Eastern.

“The PCS car will be placed on campus once at least 30 people sign up,” said Student Development Office Manager Katie Brenneman. She also mentioned that besides Bryn Mawr College, we are the first suburban school to obtain a pod-a home for a PCS car.

Registration for PCS is free and easy. All an applicant needs is to be 18 years of age or older, own a valid driver’s license, have two years of driving experience and possess a debit or credit card. The forms online are quick and hassle-free.

The online orientation explains everything there is to know about PCS and also just about every problematic situation one might come into contact with.

Once people are approved online, they receive a key fob in the mail to obtain access to the car. “With a membership you have the ability to use any one of PCS’s 350+ cars,” PCS representative Kathy Izumi said. “When you make a reservation either online or by phone, all you have to do is search by location.”

The fob helps PCS track who has used their cars and is also used as extra security. According to Izumi, when you “fob out,” as PCS calls it, you protect the car from being stolen. Fobbing out locks the ignition so anyone who tries to steal the car, despite having the ignition keys, cannot do so.

According to Izumi, one of the best choices for students to start with is the Basic Freedom plan which is free and has no minimum requirement for car use. There is also the Advantage monthly plan for those who plan to use the car more frequently.

The pricing is simple. With the Basic Freedom plan members pay $7.90 each hour they have the car, nine cents a mile for the first 200 miles they drive and 18 cents for each mile after that. That price is all-inclusive, covering gas and insurance. When the car needs to be refueled, members simply pull into a gas station and use PCS’s gas card, located in the glove box. The best thing is that there are no hidden fees.

Special rates are also available. Day rates Sunday through Friday are $56, which include 24 hours of car use.

There are also coupons and incentives to make driving cheaper. For instance, if a member refers someone, mention that member on the application so each can recieve a $25 driving credit.

Reservations should be made at least two hours in advance because they are first come, first serve. However, if people wanted the car in the middle of the night, last-minute, they could do that as long as the car was available.

Students should be aware that PCS does have rules and regulations and that reading all the information online and in brochures will help them steer clear of late fees and penalties.

More information can be found at phillycarshare.org.

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