Wheelz has announced that its car sharing service is being launched at four new colleges in Los Angeles. The peer-to-peer network connects students who have vehicles of their own to students who don’t but need a car to get around. The company has already seen success at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, University of South Carolina (USC). Now it’s doubling its presence at college campuses in California with an expansion to four new campuses in Los Angeles. This will fill an important need among students who really need a way to get around and access the city’s entertainment, cultural and business options.
The programme is being officially endorsed by Pomona College, which is the founding member of Claremont Colleges. The organisation will provide a reliable and convenient option for students to explore Los Angeles. This offering will be available at Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont McKenna College, Scripps College, Keck Graduate Institute and Harvey Mudd College. Additionally Wheelz’s car sharing service will launch at Occidental College, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Loyola Marymount University.
So how does Wheelz work? Vehicle owners are able to turn their cars into cash-generating machines and have total peace of mind with the company’s innovative permissioning system. Renters are rated, and car owners can choose who they feel comfortable sharing with. This allows them to control who exactly borrows their car, as they can build a secure network of renters they trust or choose whether or not to approve every renter.
This system allows student car owners to make money off their vehicle, with the average earning $250 a month. However, Wheelz notes that some can earn up to $1,000 a month just lending their vehicle to their peers. This gives them some cash to help pay off their car, other maintenance costs and even tuition. At the same time, borrowers are able to run errands, go to job interviews, go on dates, etc. Additionally, this car sharing scheme lightens the economic impact of owning a car, reduces the impact on the environment and eases parking and traffic congestion.
The Wheelz service operates seamlessly through an integrated system of the company’s website, smartphone apps and in-car DriveBox technology. Car owners just post when their vehicle is available for rent, and after reserving a car, renters can access the vehicle with a Wheelz DriveCard or smartphone app. This means renters are able to unlock Wheelz vehicles without having to meet the vehicle owner to get the keys. Thousands of students at Stanford University became members of the service just last school year alone, and Wheelz expects students in Los Ageles to adopt this fast as well.
Jeff Miller, the chief executive of Wheelz, says car ownership isn’t a priority for the new generation, which cares more about access and convenience. They have built and refined their service at colleges, and this has created the most efficient and easiest peer-to-peer car sharing scheme available anywhere. This solves the traditional issues of high friction levels and unreliability.
Pomona College vice president and dean of students Miriam Feldblum says Wheelz provides another way for students to explore the area beyond the campus, take advantage of the city’s offerings and pursue internships. The best, however, is that the programme is an accessible, affordable and sustainable solution. It’s a wonderful complement to their other transport options, which includes Zipcar, Stagecoach and public transport.