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Medical Campus exploring expansion of Zipcars

The small fleet of three Zipcars on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus may grow.

Expansion of the car sharing service, an alternative to car rental in which drivers can use a car by the hour or the day, is under discussion as more workers and students come to campus.

"We're in talks with UB. We know students are a great audience for Zipcar," said Susan Kirkpatrick, a spokeswoman for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. "Because medical students will be moving this way, we're talking with UB to get a sense of whether we expand it."

The university's newly constructed Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences opens to faculty later this fall and to students in January.

Of the three Zipcars on campus, two are parked in the 589 Ellicott St. lot across from the Innovation Center and another in the ZeptoMetrix Corp. lot off Main Street.

Drivers can reserve Zipcars online at zipcar.com and can get more information at gobnmc.org.  Gas and insurance are included in the rental use of the car.

With a membership discount, Medical Campus employees pay $35 or half of the annual $70 membership rate for the general public. Drivers then pay according to the amount of time rented, with gas and insurance costs included in that. UB student memberships are $15, and the general monthly rental rate is $7, according to Zipcar's website. There also is a $25, one-time application fee.

Zipcar is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group. Members pay monthly or annual rates. The company acquired Buffalo CarShare and has designated parking spots throughout Buffalo.

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