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Car sharing offers green transportation alternative

A U-Haul Car Share car is parked on campus. Photo by Christina Macias.

In addition to offering AC-Transit passes and the Mills Shuttle, Public Safety implemented the U-Haul Car Share program (previously known as U Car Share) as another transportation option for the Mills community. Though Niviece Robinson, Assistant Director of Public Safety said that the vehicle is used “very often” and “mostly on weekends,” some students are still unaware of the program, despite the fact that it has been on campus for about a year and a half.

“I didn’t know we had a car share on campus,” said Senior Marisela Alvarez. “I haven’t had a car since I’ve been at Mills.”

According to Robinson, the program was originally brought to the College as a service to the community.

“(It’s) convenient for people who only need a car a few hours a week or month,” Robinson said in an e-mail. “(And it) reduces the demand for parking on campus.”

Robinson also said that one of the other benefits of having a car share program at Mills is that it reduces the environmental impact on the community.

Sustainability and Recycling Coordinator Britta Bullard explained that approximately 24 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by Mills come from commuters.

“That’s a lot,” Bullard said. “The whole idea of car sharing is to have fewer cars on the road and to be sharing our resources.”

Bullard also explained that the program is convenient for those who need a vehicle temporarily to transport items from one place to another.

“If you do need to actually go somewhere to where maybe you do need to haul something, that’s where the U-Haul Car Share comes in handy,” said Bullard, explaining that she recently used a similar car share in Berkeley to do her laundry.

Alvarez, who has mainly relied on public transit during her time at Mills, has recently found that her transportation needs have changed.

“I’ll be working with a high school in Dixon,” Alvarez said. “In this kind of situation, I would need a car because there’s no public transportation to Dixon.”

Currently, there is one vehicle available on the Mills campus. Ballard expressed her interest in members of the Mills community utilizing the resource.

“The success of that car share program is going to be completely based upon use and how many people are using it. If no one’s ever really using it then they (U-Haul Car Share) don’t have a reason to bring another car on campus,” Ballard explained. “I hope to see more people using it. “

Those wishing to participate in the program may sign up at and reserve a time to use the vehicle. According to the website,, rates begin at $4.95 per hour (plus 49 cents per mile) and will never exceed $8.75 per hour.

“I haven’t signed up yet,” Alvarez said, explaining that she will join U-Haul Car Share once she renews her driver’s license. “I’m just so happy that it’s on campus.”