University replaces vans with rentals

Campus Times
May 7, 1999


photo by Chris Heinrich

Three out of the six University of La Verne vans are being put out of service as a result of much-needed and expensive costs to maintain the vehicles. According to Director of Campus Safety and Transportation John Lentz, ULV will sell all but two of the old vans and rent new ones at the cost of $75 per van, per day from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car company.

by Nune Gazdhyan
Assistant Features Editor

Through the idea of John Lentz, director of campus safety and transportation, University of La Verne students, faculty and staff will ride in style in rental vans.

Beginning July 1, after the 1999-2000 school budget is in effect, the majority of ULV-owned vans will be sold, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car rentals will replace them.

Currently, ULV has six vans and a bus, but in July, all but the bus and one or two vans, will be sold. The average mileage on the vans is about 150,000, and many of them are in need of repairs and maintenance. The cost of maintaining them is much more expensive than renting vans.

"Since I've been here, I've heard a growing concern about the condition of the vans," said Lentz. "It's time that we get out of the majority of vans, and the realization is that we cannot buy six to seven new vans -- it's just impossible.

"So these [rentals] were the most cost-efficient way to go to provide reliable transportation for our students, faculty and staff."

Lentz said he was referred to Enterprise through a contact, and after looking into it further, he realized that rentals would be less expensive than buying new vans or fixing the old ones.

Investing in new vans would be costly. Each van would cost $40,000 to $50,000, and at least five or six are needed. The combined cost for new vans would exceed $250,000.

As an alternative Lentz introduced the rental concept to Executive Vice President Phil Hawkey, suggesting that rather than have seven vans sitting in the parking lot waiting to be used, it would be cost-effective to lease vans when necessary.

Enterprise offered ULV the best deal, and the math works out to $75 per day, per van.

The vans will be rented through the transportation department, which means that when a group needs transportation, it needs to plan ahead.

"I thought that it was innovative thinking on the part of John Lentz to ensure safe, reliable transportation and a positive image for the University of La Verne," said Hawkey.

The transportation department will meet with those who regularly use the vans in order to plan ahead for the rental. This is also true for the remainder of the school. If a van is needed for an event, it will be required that its coordinator make arrangements to reserve a van.

Also, for unexpected events, the current ULV vans will be used. That is why a few vans will be kept.

The rentals will not have the ULV logo painted on them, but in order to identify them as ULV-oriented, Lentz said he purchased magnetic ULV logo signs to be placed on the doors of each van.

The budget to fund rentals will come from the transportation department, and it be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval tomorrow. In addition, minor details to finalize the plan are still in the works.

"I think it's important that they [ULV community] know we're concerned of the ability to be moved about the University community," said Lentz.

"We're concerned and want to make sure that when they're on the road that they're having a good and reliable transportation," he said.