Students Weigh in on Rideshare Survey

By Keefer Dunn

The Center of Sustainability is conducting a survey regarding the potential creation of a rideshare program. This program would function as a message board that would pair drivers with people who need rides.

The program would be “a collective of students, faculty, and staff participating on an online, almost social network like system,” according to Sai Weiss, Sustainability Outreach Coordinator and head of the project.

Weiss would like this not only to set up occasional carpools from school to home and back, but generate travel groups during breaks and holidays. This way, people traveling long distances can arrange more cost efficient methods in carpooling.

“I’ve had several people tell me that they want something like this,” said Weiss. “It’s a necessity.”

The Center of Sustainability is currently in stage one of the project, which is data collection. The survey will end at the end of February, and will be followed by analysis on what people want from this program.

Discussion will then take place between several groups on campus such as the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) and Student Life about getting support and methods to get the program off the ground. Finally, a plan will be created to receive funding, or create action.

If all goes according to plan, the program will be launched relatively soon.

“The sooner, the better,” said Weiss. “If we could have it up and running by spring term that would be fantastic, but if not, by next year.”

According to Weiss, there is a decrease in car usage among the incoming generation of students, and this appears to be for a variety of reasons, including gas and emissions. He believes that incoming students are going to want a less car-friendly campus. Other schools have recognized this trend, and created similar rideshare programs.

The Commuter Resource Center had started a similar program that this project would essentially be an updated version of. Possible improvements include incentives for drivers, potentially including a raffle. Once the plan is created, the CRC will take control of the improved rideshare site, and be putting it into action.

Over 300 people have already participated in the survey, most of which are students. Weiss would like the faculty and staff to participate as well.

“I would like to diversify the data.” Weiss explained, hoping that this could be a system for all at SOU and potentially create opportunities to network with other students and faculty.

For those interested in participating, the rideshare survey can be found here.

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