Ford, Zipcar Partner to Bring Car-Sharing to Campuses

Ford (NYSE:F) and Zipcar (NYSE:ZIP) have teamed up to offer the 2012 Focus and Escape in a car-sharing program at more than 250 college campuses in the U.S.

The two-year alliance, announced on Wednesday, establishes the Detroit automaker as the largest automotive source in Zipcars University program.

Zipcar will add up to 650 Fords to its lineup this academic year and up to 1,000 Ford vehicles during the life of the deal. Cars will start arriving on campuses later this week.

"Today's students are thinking differently about driving and transportation than they have in the past," Fords executive chairman, Bill Ford, said in a statement.

According to an independent study commissioned by Zipcar last year, almost half of all drivers in the 18- to 34-year-old range are driving less, and nearly two-thirds would drive less if alternative transportation options were available.

Zipcar, which is over 10-years old, finds refuge in urban areas and colleges, where fewer people own or need cars.

The program, Ford said, enables todays newest drivers to "experience the latest" in Fords fuel-efficient vehicles, while helping them reduce their cost of living and help relieve congestion on campus, he said.

The annual membership for the university program is $35. Zipcar said it will reduce that price by $10 for the first 100,000 students that sign up for the program. It also plans on slicing a dollar off the hourly rate for the first one million hours of use on any of the new Ford vehicles at selected colleges.

Some schools participating in the program are Harvard University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Southern California, among others across the country.