January 19, 2011
Need a ride? Offering a ride? New Zimride service handles both
What used to be done in the HUB with slips of paper, pins and a big wall map is now online. The new Zimride service, now being offered by UW Commuter Services helps connect people with rides — and reduces the institutions carbon footprint.
Zimride is a private online (Facebook-friendly) network where UW students, faculty and staff create accounts and organize ride-sharing. The program has already met with success at institutions such as UCLA, USC, Stanford and the University of Michigan. Its being launched at the UW in a collaboration between Commuter Services and the student leadership of the Evans School of Public Affairs.
UW Bothell started offering Zimride last October. Calvin Johnson, UW Bothells transportation coordinator, said it has already become popular. “It works really well — its a great chance for students to get to know each other in an online, social kind of system where they can check out each others Facebook pages. Its a great opportunity, not just for commuting to and from work, but for one-time rides as well, and vacations.”
Zimride earned the endorsement of the UW Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee in a recent all-campus e-mail. A Zimride e-mail that confirms new accounts states: “The average person spends $5,000 a year on their car. By sharing your ride you can split the cost and save enough to buy either: 416 burritos, 25 small goats or a seven-day Hawaii vacation for two.” (Aw, get the goats.)
UW faculty, staff and students can use Zimride by logging into its website with their UW NetID. Learn more about carpooling at the UW Commuter Services website. Questions about the program may be e-mailed to Commuter Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.