Sarah Bouse bummed rides to the grocery store from her friends until she discovered a car-sharing program that covers gas and keeps her from circling Belmont parking garages.
“In the past when I needed to go somewhere, I used other people’s cars or I would say to my friends, ‘hey, if you are going to Target, let me know,’” said Bouse, a junior from Indianapolis, Ind., studying classical performance, pedagogy and Spanish. She signed up for WeCar in August and uses a Toyota Prius twice a week to get around Nashville for service learning projects and to observe piano lessons to fulfill requirements for class. “With the classes I have this semester, it is beneficial to not have to bug other people for rides, especially when they would have to go out of the way to take me places like Mount Juliet.”
Parked in reserved spaces between Wright Hall and Whitten Soccer Field, the Toyota Prius and a Mini Cooper are available to all Belmont employees and students aged 18 and older. Membership along with low hourly and daily rates includes gas, maintenance, roadside assistance, travel up to 200 miles and a reserved parking spot. Students between 18 and 20 must have their own liability insurance, and WeCar provides insurance for members 21 and older.
“Our partnership with WeCar strengthens our commitment to provide the Belmont University community with flexible, environmentally-friendly transportation options,” said Vice President for Administration and University Counsel Jason Rogers. “We are committed to a variety of strong sustainability programs and look forward to working with WeCar to further develop the university’s car sharing initiative and provide our students, staff and faculty with a solution that best matches their needs.”
The University has offered a membership-based car sharing program to the campus community since 2008 and switched to Enterprise-owned WeCar in August. Through Career Services, WeCar is offering a Belmont student a paid internship to help with promotions of the membership-based car sharing program around campus.
“This will be more beneficial to campus and students, faculty and staff. There is a better selection of vehicles and the sign up process allows greater flexibility,” said Alison McCommons in the Office of University Counsel. “It will encourage people to leave their cars at home and take the bus, train or bike to work. If they need to run errands or have an off campus appointment or lunch meeting, they can take the WeCar and return it to an assigned parking space.”
The WeCar program allows its members to drive any cars in the area, including cars stationed in the Gulch, downtown Nashville and at Lipscomb University. Neighbors can use cars at Belmont by signing up for WeCar through the Downtown Partnership.
Students can join WeCar for only $35 a year, and employees can join for a one time application fee of $10. New student members receive a $35 driving credit when they sign up. When Bruins become members, they each are sent a card that acts as an electronic key. Click here for more information on WeCar. Reservations can be made online or from a cell phone.
The WeCar is part of a six-year University effort to encourage faculty, staff and students to use alternative transportation —including bicycle rentals, the Music City Star rail system and Metropolitan Transit Authority buses—all of which the University provides free of charge. Bicycles may be checked out from the Beaman Student Life Center Desk. Free Music City Star rail system passes are available in Belmont Central for the train from Lebanon to downtown Nashville’s Riverfront Park. Any student or employee with a Belmont-issued ID card can ride to and from the campus without charge simply by swiping a Belmont ID when boarding.