As a freshman at another local university up the road (Go Heels!), I wasn’t allowed to have a car on campus. Not only was it the school’s rule but my parents weren’t having any of it either. If I wanted to go anywhere off campus, that wasn’t transit accessible of course, I had to negotiate with friends, older students, classmates, hall mates or whomever I knew with a car.
While this is still one way to find a ride, there are some new options that make it easier to get off campus. At NC State, they just launched their ZimRide program and then they teamed up with Meredith College to provide ZipCars available for both campuses.
ZimRide connects your favorite social network with finding a carpool buddy. So instead of creating a flyer, hoping someone pulls off the tabs and gives you a call, you put out a request on ZimRide.
How does it work? When signing up online on http://zimride.ncsu.edu/, ZimRide will ask the user how much they would like to be paid per passenger. If you’re signing up as a passenger, you will declare how much they are willing to pay the driver. Users can choose to be paid by the hour, day, week or even by the month. Students then provide basic contact information, origin location and destination, how many times a week they will need a ride and the approximate time frames. Not a smoker? Have pets that ride with you too? No problem, users can specify their driving preferences as well. Users log onto their Facebook pages and manage their ZimRide accounts there as well. ZimRide also adheres to the users current Facebook privacy settings, so again, no worries about people seeing more information than you want them to, but at least you’ll know if you and your future passenger are in Chem 101 together.
Don’t have a car all together but still want to share a ride? ZimRide is a carpool partner with ZipCar!
The only commitment required of students is an annual fee of $35 and $8 for every hour you use the ZipCar. The fees go toward gas, insurance and road assistance. First time ZipCar drivers are able to utilize the first 180 miles free.
Don’t worry employees, both of these services are open to faculty and staff.
NC State and Meredith ZipCars are in good company, joining the network with many colleges across the state, including UNC (again, Go Heels!), Elon, Duke, and Wake Forest that are already operating ZipCars on campus.
Have you tried ZipCar or ZimRide? Let us know about your experience in the comments.