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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Short term car rentals available on campus

<ansportation at Carleton got a facelift this summer, creating a host of new travel options for students. The newest of these is WeCar, a car-sharing program that lets Carleton students, faculty, and staff rent one of two hybrid cars on campus for up to 24 hours.

“It’s a great opportunity to have a handful of kids hop in a car and have the freedom to go to the Cities for a few hours,” Julie Thornton, Associate Dean of Students and Co-Chair of the Carleton Task Force on Vehicles and Parking, said.

The WeCar system is a relatively easy one to follow. It was started in 2008 as an extension of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which has a branch in Northfield.

“We liked the idea of doing business with a company that has a local base,” Julia Burmesch, Director of Campus Services, said. The two-year contract with Carleton marks WeCar’s first partnership in Minnesota.

To rent a WeCar, a student or faculty member must first become a member at, which involves paying a $20 application fee and an annual $30 membership fee. Applicants under 21 years old must also provide a parent’s signature. A membership card is hand delivered, and when a car is reserved online, that card unlocks the doors to the white Prius or silver Camry parked in the Memorial Hall parking lot. Cars can be checked out for $8 hourly, $39 overnight, or $59 daily. While Burmesch deemed WeCar a good option for students looking to “get out of town or explore Northfield further,” she also stressed its importance in solving some of the College’s most pressing transportation problems.

“If students see this as an option instead of bringing a car to campus, it will have a positive impact on parking issues on campus and city streets,” she said, referring to the ongoing concern of crowded streets in neighborhoods surrounding Carleton.

As of Sept. 17, 20 people have applied to become WeCar members, including one staff member and 19 students, and ten have received their membership cards as of Sunday.

“I think once some of the members start using it, then we’ll really know the positive impact it can have,” Burmesch said.

The program is one of several transportation improvements made over the summer by Campus Services and the Task Force on Vehicle and Parking, based on the results of the CSA Transportation Survey conducted last May. The survey results pointed to inconvenience and lack of information as major themes, spurring changes including the partnership with WeCar, as well as the LOCAL bus to replace the Love Bus and Northfield Connection, and a Minneapolis shuttle through Northfield Lines called the Northfield Metro Express, which Burmesch said is “complimentary to, not competing with” Carleton’s own travel alternatives.

“There are a lot of options,” Burmesch said, “and they’re all different enough that you need to try to understand them.”

For more information on WeCar and other new transportation options, as well as bus routes and schedules, go online to or visit the new Campus Info Booth located in the Sayles-Hill Campus Center across from the Snack Bar.

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