Zip your way around town

Did you know that there are two cars parked up at SUNY Cortland campus that are available for the public to reserve and drive as needed?

The company, Zipcar, offers a car-sharing program that SUNY Cortland has hosted at the campus since October, 2015.

Two zipcars are available on the SUNY Cortland campus. The public can use them too.

SUNY Cortland's Associate Vice President for Facilities Zachariah Newswanger said on Monday that the cars see the heaviest usage during the months that students are in town and more cars would be placed in the community if there was demand for it.

And likely there is a demand for it out there in the community-there's a cost to car ownership. According to a 2018 study by AAA, the average cost to own and operate a new vehicle was $8,849 per year. The figure is calculated based on the cost of fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, license/registration/taxes.

Considering that and the fact that cars depreciate over time, there's an upside to only paying to drive when you need to.

Zipcars can be rented for as short a period of time as an hour, perhaps to run to the store for some groceries, or for a two-day weekend getaway. You just have to be at least 18-years old and have a valid driver's license to rent one.

The parking spots for the zipcars that are located outside of Corey Union were vacant Monday, as the cars are rented now that students are back in town.

You can even calculate the cost of the trip online.

How does it work? First you sign up. There's an annual membership fee but it's way less than the cost of owning your own vehicle.

Go to for details. Once you sign up you can reserve the car, drive it to your destination, and return it to its pickup location.

One Zipcar has the ability to take approximately 15 personally owned cars off the road, according to the company’s studies. And in terms of cost, Zipcar members pay only for the time they use a car, which can save up to 70 percent of a student’s total transportation costs.