New Enterprise CarShare partnership gives transportation options to Eau Claire students

Car rentals with hourly rate now available for student use


Photo by Lauren French

Junior Sarah McKlveen, history and math teaching dual major, checks out the two cars available for rent. The Nissan Altimas are located on University Avenue on upper campus.

Story by Lauren French, Copy Editor

UW-Eau Claire junior Sarah McKlveen opened her refrigerator and knew it was time to shop for groceries.

As a Chancellor’s Hall resident, McKlveen lives on campus and opted out of a meal plan through the university. She buys her own food instead.

McKlveen doesn’t have a car, but she said she is usually able to catch a ride with someone who does when she needs to go shopping.

However, McKlveen finds herself in a tough spot when all her car-owning friends are busy.

“The bus to the mall area only runs on Saturdays, and just for a few hours,” McKlveen said. “It’s really hard to go grocery shopping on weeks I can’t hitch a ride with someone else.”

McKlveen could walk to nearby Gordy’s County Market for food, but she said the nasty winter weather and the number of bags she’d have to carry make it an unfavorable option.

But students like McKlveen have some flexibility with Enterprise CarShare, a partnership Eau Claire launched, Feb. 2.

Eau Claire students, faculty and staff ages 18 and up can rent a car for a couple hours, a day, or a weekend.

The Parking and Transportation Office approached Student Senate with the idea in September, who voiced unanimous support, Sept. 22.

Student Body President Sam Fish said Student Senate hopes the program will make transportation easier for on-campus students.

“We hope it allows students to have more freedom on campus,” Fish said. “We want it to make peoples’ lives easier in smaller ways, or maybe larger ways.”

CarShare users can normally rent a vehicle for $7.50 per hour. But until March 15, the hourly rate is $5. These costs include damage, liability protection and gas. Daily rates are $62, and overnight rentals are $35.

Signup includes a $20 application fee, but the cost is reduced to $1 with the promo code “SPRING.” The program waives an annual membership fee for the first year.

To rent a car, CarShare users can reserve one of the two available cars online.  Membership cards unlock the vehicles, located on University Avenue in the Maintenance and Central Stores lot on upper campus.