Apr 062010
Authors: Abel Oshevire

“Save money –– save the planet –– share a ride!”

This is the slogan for RideShare, a Web site created by Off-Campus Life, OCL, which offers students and staff the opportunity to save money by carpooling with other members of the CSU community.

In addition to its convenience, Assistant Director of OCL Melissa Emerson said RideShare helps reduce pollution and gives CSU’s efforts to go green a big boost.

“RideShare provides a safe and secure environment for people using it because the Web site is only available to members of the CSU community,” Emerson said. A CSU eID and password are required to access the site.

A sign-up sheet for the service once hung on a bulletin board in the Lory Student Center basement. Over time, as student activities became more Web-centric, OCL created the Web site, launching it last year.

The service is not limited to carpooling on campus, but also to the ski slopes and other locations. People often use RideShare during the holidays to get to the airport, Emerson said.

OCL does control the activities of people using the service. People work out arrangements, like the cost of gas, themselves.

With the average cost of gas at 47 to 62 cents per mile, according to the America Automobile Association, OCL student staff member Jerick Flores said trip costs should be very little.
Flores said the results of a recent CSU commuter survey showed that 50 percent of students and staff use alternative means of transportation.

By carpooling, people could save thousands of dollars annually, Flores said. “Various statistics have shown that the general U.S. population drives more than 4 billion miles a day; carpooling reduces this number.”

Flores suggested that students who carpool could divide the cost of a campus parking permit among each other.

Jordan Diefenderfer, a sophomore zoology student, put up a posting on the Web site for the first time last week.

Diefenderfer said he is a member of the Outdoor Club and takes people to the mountains. He once had the idea to create a carpooling Web site, but a friend directed him to RideShare.

“My friend told me there was a Web site already. It seems most people are like me though, they have no idea the Web site exists,” he said. “I haven’t gotten any interest in my post yet, but I think it’s a great idea if more students knew about it.”

_Staff writer Abel Oshevire can be reached at news@collegian.com. _

What: RideShare, an online carpooling network created by CSU’s Off-Campus Life
Destinations: Campus, Fort Collins, airport, ski slopes, among others.
How it works: Drivers and passengers log in to http://www.rideshare.colostate.edu, sign in and make arrangements among parties.

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