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New auto-sharing plan lets members rent by the hour

WeCar at Lehigh is starting with two vehicles—this hybrid Toyota Prius and a Nissan Cube.

Students, faculty and staff can take advantage of a new form of transportation starting this fall. Lehigh has joined WeCar, a car-sharing program run by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which offers on-campus access to car rentals for personal use.

“WeCar allows members to maintain the benefits of a personal car while paying for the vehicle only when they use it,” says Chris Christian, director of transportation and parking services. “The WeCar program will help augment public transportation in the Lehigh Valley and add more transportation options for the campus community.”

WeCar offers access to rental cars on an hourly, overnight or full-day basis.

The membership-based program will begin with two vehicles—a hybrid Toyota Prius and a Nissan Cube. The Prius can be rented for $12 an hour and the Cube for $10. Lehigh has the option to expand the program if demand for the two vehicles is high.

There is an initial fee of $25 to enroll in the program. However, for those who enroll by September 13, that fee is reduced to $10. Members also pay a $50 annual membership fee for the car-sharing program.  The first 100 Lehigh people who enroll in WeCar will receive $25 in driving credits which will be credited to their account after initial enrollment.

The University sees this not only as a convenient transportation option, but as a positive step in contributing toward sustainability efforts on campus.

“At Lehigh, we are always looking for ways to improve our services with as little impact on the environment as possible,” says Mark Ironside, executive director of business services and member of the Lehigh Environmental Advisory Group.

“With WeCar, we can enable students to have access to transportation without necessarily having to bring their own cars to campus. This takes cars off the road and allows for increased student mobility at the same time so they can travel, shop, and visit recreation and entertainment spots in the Lehigh Valley and beyond.”

For more information, visit http://www.lehigh.edu/parking. To enroll in the program, visit http://www.wecar.com/joinWeCar.html.

Story by Tricia Long

Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010

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