Living at Western is a very nice set up. Just about everything you need is with in walking distance and if you need to get to Independence there is always the wolf ride. But sometimes student really need to get out of town and take a break from college or they have some sort of emergency which makes them need to be somewhere fast! This is where UCarShare comes in handy. This is a relatively cheap way of getting places. It is a car rental system for college students or people in the community. There are two cars parked in between Ackerman and the WUC in H lot. The first car is a Toyota Prius and the second car is a Ford Focus. They are both very nice and reliable for any sort of travel but there is a bit of a difference between them which I will dive into in a moment.
How the car rental works is that you go online to Ucarshare.com and apply to be a member. You have to fill out all your information as well as your form of payment which can either be a debit of credit card. After you apply to be a member it takes about one business day to go through your application and see if you are eligible to be a member. The only thing that would not allow you to be a member is if you are under the age of eighteen or you have had many tickets or accidents. So once you know you are accepted as a member then you can go online and “make a reservation.” You punch in the hour(s) you would like to use it and then the two cars will show up with their hours below. If there is any conflict it will show up in red boxes, the already reserved time is in grey and the free to reserve time is in white. Once you know what time you want to make a reservation and know that the car is free than you hit confirm and pick the card you want it to be charged to. Then you are ready to go! But here are the rates for either car. The Ford Focus has an hourly rate of $4.95 with a 59 cents per mile rate. The Toyota Prius has an hourly rate of $4.95 with a 49 cents per mile rate. This is with the pay-as-u- go rate of course so you just pay for what you use. If you end up using it frequently than you can up your plan and pay 50 dollars a month which would give you a 10% discount on all of your rentals and there is a 125 dollar fee you could pay with a 15% discount for each use.
Now you might be asking how do you get into the car? Or do i have to pay for gas? Am I insured?
Well first off both of the cars have a pin pad that allows you to get into the car. During the sign up for membership process they asked you to create a pin code that was unique to you and allows you to pin pad your way into the car when you’ve rented it.
Gas?!?!?! You do not have to pay a penny for gas! There is a gas card in each car which you can use at any gas station. At the station they will ask for the odometer reading (how many miles has the car gone) and your driver gas code, this gas code is also personal to you and is on your profile page so make sure to find that out before you go driving around and run out of gas. Cause if you try to gas and don’t know your code then it won’t work!
Insurance? of course you are insured, that’s the whole point of a rental car, besides the fact that it’s illegal to drive if you aren’t insured!
Finally whenever you are done with the car you just take it back to the reserved parking spot where you picked it up at and you lock the car and walk away. It’s a very simple process and is great if you want to have an evening out in portland!!!
By Amanda Summers