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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New service aims to connect campus commuters

While a number of transportation programs are already available to the UA community, Parking and Transportation Services’ latest collaboration aims to connect car-less campus-goers with university affiliates headed in the same direction.

Starting at Zimride’s website, users can log on to the UA group section by providing their UA NetID and password. From there, university affiliates can indicate the details of their commute, including time, place and whether they would like to function as a driver or a passenger. Drivers can also indicate a dollar amount that they prefer passengers to pay for each ride, with the idea being that passengers can shop around for the closest and cheapest drivers.

The UA NetID and password requirement help ensure that only UA students, faculty and staff are using the service, which keeps the program safe, according to Alan Mamood, the senior office specialist for PTS.

“It’s a safe way for U of A students, faculty and staff to connect with one another and carpool,” Mamood said. “It’s a great way for people to commute to campus on a daily basis or for students to catch a ride home for the holidays.”

Zimride has been working with PTS to promote the program and reach out to different organizations on campus to let everyone within the UA community know about it’s availability.

“We love ridesharing and we want it to be an option for everyone, said Curtis Rogers, the national account managerfor Zimride. “UA will benefit both financially and socially with this new transportation option.”

Bill Davidson, the public information and marketing manager for PTS, said that since the beginning of the collaboration, the community has seen steady growth and is now at 850 members.

“I think it’s a great program for people who don’t have ways to get to where they’re going more frequently and with easy access,” said Harry Goralnik, a sophomore, studying political science and gender and women’s studies.

Despite the positive response, some students said they are still wary about the program’s safety.

“I personally wouldn’t use it, but I think it’s a good idea for students who don’t have any other way of getting home or getting to where they need to be,” said Rachel Kreisberg, a public health sophomore.

For some, a closer collaboration with the university would resolve many safety concerns.

“It sounds convenient,” said Megan Kettner, a sophomore studying speech, language and hearing sciences and special education and rehabilitation. “But I would feel more comfortable if it was promoted through Res Life so that the people I would be carpooling with are familiar.”

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