Article by Jessica Roth
Zimride is a free ride sharing network provided for college students. According to Warren Bair, student life coordinator, all HACC campuses share the cost of the program. They each pay $1,900.00 per year for this service. He hopes that more people will use this beneficial program.
In the past, HACC Lancaster had a meeting area for commuters. People would go to this place and see if they could get a ride; it was disorganized and did not work. Bair said, “I feel that Zimride could be a more secure way of commuting for students; they can view people’s information before offering rides/driving services.”
HACC Lancaster started offering this in March 2011, so it is a fairly new program. Unfortunately, of twenty-five students surveyed, only five of them had heard of it. Nicole Tarbart, a nursing student, said she had never heard of it, but upon hearing an explanation of what it is, said, “That’s a good idea. It sounds like it would be good for the environment.” Bill Rutledge, a chemistry student, said “Yeah, I’ve heard of it. It’s a service for students who are carpooling.” When asked if he thought it was a good idea, he said, “Everything has issues. It could be good or bad, but if you are going to change your whole setup to make it work and the other person falls through, that would be bad.”
As of Jan. 27, 2012, twenty-one people were willing to be drivers and eighteen people were looking for rides. There were a few looking for rides from Lancaster City to the Lancaster campus; students were willing to pay gas costs.
So how can you get started? Go to zimride.hacc.edu/users/rides. Create a profile. You can even upload a photo, personalize your page and connect using Facebook. Then post times you are able to share rides or need a ride. Zimride will search for compatible information and match you with users who are similar in commuting needs. It will be updated when matches for commuting become available.
Zimride was started in 2006 by Logan Green, Matt Van Horn and John Zimmer. The company started in California and still has its headquarters there. It is the first online carpooling site to integrate Facebook to show potential riders who might be riding with them. They expanded and started a web based service for universities and companies so they can coordinate commutes within their own private networks.
According to the Zimride website, the ethical code for their company is: “Communities aren’t born. They’re made. Built on the shoulder of shared experiences. Created by people with a common cause, a common history, or in our case, a common destination.”