Transit Thursday: Share Your Life, Not Just Your Car

uberthang

We thought we were jumping on the millennial bandwagon with our #Selfies blog post, but millennials and their transit habits have finally hit the “What’s Trending” page. This week, several articles and studies highlighted millennials’ affinity for public transportation, particularly when combined with smartphone usage. More and more millennials are listing public transportation as one of their top three issues for moving to a new city, and more and more of them are moving to RDU.  With a growing population characterized by high public transportation usage and low car ownership calling Raleigh home, it’s no wonder rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft are headed to the Triangle.

In April, both Uber and Lyft announced the launch of their rideshare services in Raleigh. While there’s no confirmation on whether Lyft will service the rest of the Triangle area any time soon, Uber does intent to expand its current service to Durham and Chapel Hill in the coming weeks. Rachel Holt, regional general manager for Uber East, told The News & Observer that Uber’s Raleigh launch was based on resident interest. Resident interest in ridesharing apps is high indeed, as a Change.Org petition to bring Lyft to the entire Triangle area already has 1,181 signatures.

The petition claims, “Ridesharing helps to combat drunk driving, reduces road congestion, makes a positive impact on the environment, and improves public safety for our community.” Sign us up – we can definitely get behind that! However, ridesharing is already happening in the Triangle. Through GoTriangle and ShareTheRide NC, Triangle drivers are already sharing the ride and reducing congestion on our roads daily. While it may be more convenient to use a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft in some situations, ridesharing through STRNC doesn’t mean unexpected price hikes in peak hours or bad weather conditions. Plus, if you get stuck and end up needing a ride, a ride home is completely free through our Emergency Ride Home Program.

Aside from monetary benefits, finding ridesharers in your area offers you an opportunity to share your life, not just your car. One ridesharer explained to us that she often carpools to work with her husband, and the hour spent in the car has become time to reconnect with her spouse. Another shared how he and a coworker, who just lived down the road,  have now become close friends.

Like I said, there are definitely times when it’s more convenient to simply pull out your phone and request a Lyft, and we are always looking for ways to improve the rideshare experience in our area. You don’t have to choose one side or the other – both community ridesharing and rideshare apps help get us from place to place in a more eco-responsible way. But still, ridesharing doesn’t have to have “uber” in its name to be cool. And as far as petitioning for reduced road congestion and positive environmental impacts? Well, where do we sign?

If you’d like to sign up for a carpool in your area, check out STRNC.org or the GoTriangle Rideshare page. If you want to meet other carpoolers in your area, CommuteSmartRaleigh is also hosting a rideshare social on Wednesday, May 14 from 5:30-7:30 PM at 518 West Italian Café. Full event details here.

Have a great Thursday,

Grace

 

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