Enterprise CarShare trumps the competition

TCNJ Rideshare lacks effectiveness and ease-of-use compared to Enterprise CarShare. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Sheridan)
TCNJ Rideshare lacks effectiveness and ease-of-use compared to Enterprise CarShare. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Sheridan)

By Sydney Shaw
Managing Editor

Living on campus without a car was quite frustrating during my first two years at the College. That all changed when Enterprise CarShare came to Campus Town. The program offers services and flexibility with which TCNJ Rideshare can never compete.

“Right now, we have the Enterprise car rental…” Political Science Department Chair and Associate Professor Brian Potter told The Signal, according to last week’s issue. “I think it’s underused, so Enterprise might pull it simply because it’s not profitable for them.”

After reading this quote, I began to fear that my new routine of renting the Enterprise car would come to an abrupt end, resulting in unexpected challenges for next semester.

Potter was advocating for TCNJ Rideshare, a new application that aims to push students to carpool with one another, reducing carbon emissions and allowing students without cars to get from point A to point B. TCNJ Rideshare is also free, while Enterprise has a registration fee and an hourly rate to rent a car.

I have yet to use TCNJ Rideshare, but I’ve utilized the Enterprise CarShare program often. Just this semester I’ve rented the Enterprise car several times to go grocery shopping. I’ve rented the car three times to drive to concerts and once to drive to an important interview. I’ve rented it on afternoons that my housemates and I were craving Chipotle and on late nights when someone suggested a spur-of-the-moment trip to the diner. I’ve even rented the car to drive to Staples so I could purchase ink for The Signal’s production.

The thoughtfulness involved in the development of TCNJ Rideshare is admirable, and perhaps if it gains popularity on campus, it could result in reduced carbon emissions. It will never effectively replace the Enterprise CarShare program, though.

I doubt I would have been able to find another student on campus to drive my friend and me to two different concerts on back-to-back nights in Philadelphia just this past weekend. When my housemates want to go out to dinner, I imagine it would be awkward and inconvenient to open the TCNJ Rideshare app, try to find someone who is also planning to go to the same restaurant at the same time and then drive there with strangers. It is far easier to rent the Enterprise car through its Website, walk to the car and drive away.

There used to be two Nissan vehicles available to rent through the Enterprise CarShare program in Campus Town. All semester, though, every time I’ve visited the Website to rent a car, only the Nissan Sentra — and not the Nissan Versa — is listed for rental. Whenever I walk past the designated Enterprise Carshare parking spots alongside Pennington Road, I only see the Nissan Sentra.

I’m not sure if the other car is always rented by someone else or if Enterprise has already scaled back its Campus Town CarShare program. If it is the latter, I hope the company doesn’t eliminate the program entirely. It is a cost-effective, easy way for students to leave campus independently and it can’t be replaced by a carpooling system.

Students share opinions around campus

Enterprise CarShare or TCNJ RideShare?

Diane Danch, freshman elementary education and psychology double major.
Diane Danch, freshman elementary education and psychology double major.

“The RideShare (app).”

Vincent Gialalone, senior interactive multimedia major.
Vincent Gialalone, senior interactive multimedia major.

“I think as of now, the RideShare (app) shows more appeal. It seems more causal, (and) it’s free.”