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Innovation & Job News

university circle inks deal with zipcar, the world's leading carsharing network

Zipcar for universities

At the University Circle Incorporated (UCI) annual meeting last week, President Chris Ronayne touted the district's roots in innovation as well as impressive present-day growth. In short, University Circle is now returning full circle and has become an area that's not only rife with arts institutions and top schools, but is also spinning out some of the region's fastest-growing companies and ideas.

Ronayne also stated that innovation begins and ends, in many ways, with connectivity, something that University Circle has in spades. "The key to innovation is density, connectivity, diversity and experience," he said. "Creating an environment that is inspiring and pulls people together."

Now University Circle is about to get even better connected thanks to a new partnership with Zipcar, the world's leading carshare company. Initially, four vehicles will be available for lease in designated parking spots in the garage at 1980 Ford Road and the University Circle Inc. Lot at 10831 Magnolia Drive. The cars, which will be available 24/7 on demand, can be leased for as low as $7.50 per hour and $69 per day with gas, insurance and up to 180 miles of driving per day included in the rate. College students age 18 and older as well as community members age 21 and older will be able to take advantage of the program.

“As University Circle continues to grow, so does its need for innovative transportation,” said Ronayne in a release. “Partnering with Zipcar allows us to address this need by giving students, employees, and community members access to vehicles on a short term basis. It’s a great, sustainable solution.”

Community members, students and businesses can join Zipcar here. The Occasional Driving Plan is available for $60 a year or $6 a month, allowing users access to the four Zipcar’s in University Circle as well as more than 10,000 vehicles worldwide. UCI has also helped to establish a special university rate -- college students, faculty and staff at participating universities in the area can join for just $25 to use a set of wheels for as little as an hour or for several days.
 
There's also a Zipcar for Business program for local businesses that offers discounted driving rates Monday through Friday. The goal of this program is to help businesses save cash, meet sustainability goals, and reduce parking needs by providing employees with access to the cars as a way to get around town.

Users can employ their smartphones to make reservations, lock and unlock the vehicle, and even honk the horn to locate their vehicle. Reservations are available over the phone or through Zipcar's website.

Read more articles by Lee Chilcote.

Lee Chilcote is a journalist, essayist and poet whose work has appeared in many regional and national publications. He is Managing Editor of Fresh Water Cleveland and Editorial Director of Issue Media Group. He has earned Master's degrees in English/Creative Writing and Public Administration from Cleveland State University. Originally from Cleveland Heights, he lives in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood with his family.
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