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Eckerd Partners with Zipride.com to Encourage Ridesharing Among Students, Faculty and Staff

posted on 05/28/2009

Eckerd College has taken yet another tangible step towards climate neutrality. Through its recent partnership with Zipride.com, Eckerd has introduced an online ridesharing forum where students, faculty and staff can find others to share rides. Zipride.com is a database-driven site devoted exclusively to ridesharing: from daily commutes to cross-country travel, from trips to the grocery store to trips home for semester break.

The mechanics of the service are simple: Users log on to Eckerd's unique Zipride address, http://eckerd.zipride.com, to register for the service. Once registered, users can then search for other users who travel their same routes. Find a match? Send an anonymous email through the site, arrange a meeting point, and drive. The entire site is free to join and free to use.

But with the perception that sharing rides equals inconvenience, why would anyone bother? "Practicality," said Kristina Dickinson, Zipride.com's creator. "Even though sharing rides is a 'green' activity, it is also practical." She continued, "Sharing rides helps users save money on gas, extend the lives of their vehicles, and simply get where they need to go."

In addition to being utilitarian and user-friendly, the site is also interactive and fun to use. Users can create their own Zipride profiles, add and seek out favorite users, join ride groups, and leave feedback about shared rides. "However," Dickinson added, "feedback is on a tight leash." Criticism of a ride is allowed, but anything slanderous is immediately deleted and its author banned.

One of the most unique factors about Zipride.com is that it is only available to Eckerd students, faculty and staff. "Exclusivity makes for a safer ridesharing environment and encourages usership," Dickinson said. If you are not a member of the Eckerd community yet have interest in participating, do not despair: the general site, Zipride.com, is also available to the general public.

For more information about Eckerd's Zipride program, contact David Hastings, Associate Professor of Marine Science and Chemistry and member of Eckerd's Environmental Affairs Committee. For more information about the national Zipride program, contact Kristina Dickinson, site creator of Zipride.com. Eckerd's Zipride.com effort was co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students, Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS) and the Environmental Studies discipline.

Members of the Eckerd College community:
Click here to share a ride!

About Sustainability at Eckerd College, www.eckerd.edu/green
Zipride.com is just one of Eckerd's many sustainable projects: the Edible Peace Patch garden project at Lakewood Elementary School; the reusable EcoClamshell to-go container, the Yellow Community Bike program designed five years ago to increase bicycle use on campus and decrease automobile traffic; Eckerd president Donald Eastman's signing of the College and University Presidents Climate Commitment that addresses climate change; the hands-on, student-run recycling program; the Visions of Nature / Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival; Iota Complex, a residence hall for which Eckerd is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification; facilities vendor UNICCO's GreenClean green products approach; Bon Appetit's Circle of Responsibility and Eat Local Challenge programs that aptly match Eckerd's environmental ambitions; and the popular Environmental Studies major that consistently graduates enough students to qualify as one of the College's top three majors.

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