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Zimride launched at UW-W

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In an effort to become a more sustainable campus and eliminate a few problems, UW-Whitewater launched a car-sharing network called Zimride Monday.

Senior Chad Neerhof, university services director for Whitewater Student Government, along with Sustainability Coordinator Wes Enterline and Promotions Coordinator Kat Shanahan started the project. The project will cost about $9,500 per year and will come out of the University Center’s budget.

Neerhof

 

Anyone who has a net-ID with UW-Whitewater can use Zimride, Neerhof said. To access Zimride, visit zimride.uww.edu and use your university login to start your account.

Neerhof said they liked the idea using the net-IDs to login, which would keep it somewhat private and not open to the public. If a student is removed from school or is disciplined by the university, his or her net-ID can be deactivated on Zimride using the administrative feature, Neerhof said.

Once a user signs in, they can create a ride with a start and end point.

Exact addresses do not have to be used in case people want their address to remain private. It will ask you if you are looking for or willing to provide a ride and how much you are willing to pay for or how much you are asking for a ride. All payments are at the discretion of the individuals, Neerhof said.

Neerhof said not only will it limit car emissions from students, faculty, and staff traveling to campus, but it may also help solve commuter-parking issues on campus.

“There’s definitely cost benefits for students,” Neerhof said. “There’s parking benefits; in time, we anticipate it helping clear up the parking situation, which is always an issue. It’s definitely going to help a lot on [sustainability efforts], especially with gas prices.”

Enterline said many students cannot afford to have a car on campus. He said he hopes Zimride can help students with transportation needs.

Enterline

 

“It’s kind of a nice way to meet a few people and maybe make some friends [or have] somebody to talk to while you’re driving around,” Enterline said.

The site is very customizable, Neerhof said.

You can share if you’re willing to make stops, if you’re willing to leave a half-hour early for someone, if you listen to a certain type of music or are a smoker,” Neerhof said. “You can add all that in there.”

After creating a ride, you have the option of posting it just on the UW-Whitewater network or sharing it with trusted partners.

Neerhof said they are working with UW-La Crosse and UW-Oshkosh to become trusted partners.

UW-La Crosse has had great success using Zimride and UW-Oshkosh had 773 active users after two months, Neerhof said.

Neerhof said UW-Madison and UW-River Falls are also looking into using Zimride as well.

The goal for the rest of this semester is to get the word out of the program’s existence, Neerhof said. In the summer, they plan to talk to incoming freshmen and their parents about Zimride, he added.

Enterline said he hopes to expand the program to faculty and staff in the future.

“Just based off the feedback we’ve gotten from other campuses, we have pretty high expectations,” Enterline said. “Especially for us being so close to Madison and Milwaukee, [it could be] really successful.”

While some people might be worried about meeting up with strangers, Neerhof said using the net-ID should eliminate threats.

“If you’re hesitant about it, we encourage you to meet in a public place,” Neerhof said. “Go grab a coffee and talk things over and just see if you think you’re going to be compatible.”

There is also an option to link it to a user’s Facebook account, which allows users to see if they have mutual friends and talk to those mutual friends to see if the other user is trustworthy, Neerhof said.

A user can also give bad feedback and leave comments about another user if they have a bad experience with their ride, Enterline said.

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Founded 1901
Zimride launched at UW-W