USF Launches Social Network for Ridesharing
Partnership with Zimride.com creates social platform to enhance campus mobility.
TAMPA, FL (Oct. 7, 2010) – The University of South Florida is partnering with Zimride to launch a private network for commuter ridesharing, using Facebook integration to create an easy and fun way to find friends to share commutes or one-time rides and a new outlet for USF students, faculty and staff to coordinate commutes to campus, reduce traffic and parking congestion, while providing a substantial cost-savings for the USF community.
To participate in the USF “community” of commuters, Zimride users must have a USF NetID to use the service.
Zimride embraces ridesharing as a social activity, allowing participants to create profiles that show their favorite in-car music, radio stations and even smoking preferences to ensure an enjoyable ride.
“We are very excited to offer this service to the USF community,” said Julie Bond, a senior research associate with USF's Center for Urban Transportation Research. “Zimride's solution will help us ease parking demands, and give students, faculty and staff more options for ridesharing to campus, sporting events or for recreation.”
Through Zimride's web-based interface, faculty, staff and students will be able to find others with similar commuting patterns or one-time rides. Just like with Facebook, Zimriders can view profiles for common networks, friends and interests before deciding to share a ride.
Commuter services have become increasingly important amid rising transportation costs and increased efforts at USF to reduce traffic and the environmental “footprint” of campus activity. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation activities accounted for 27 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2008. The largest sources of transportation GHGs in 2008 were passenger cars (33 percent) and sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and minivans (29 percent). In 2009, the Department of Labor reported that the average U.S. household spent more than 17 percent of their annual income on transportation.
USF students, faculty and staff can access the free USF Zimride system at http://zimride.usf.edu/.
Zimride is the largest online social rideshare community in North America with more than 350,000 users and is the recipient of a recent Facebook (fbFund) grant, recognizing Zimride's useful and innovative integration with their platform. Zimride has implemented private rideshare communities for more than 50 of the nation's leading universities and companies including Stanford, UCLA, University of Central Florida, Cornell University, UNC Chapel Hill and CIGNA.