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Santa Clara University Launches Social Network for Ridesharing
Monday, Nov. 7, 2011
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 7, 2011—Santa Clara University announced today that it has partnered with Zimride to encourage people to ditch their cars and carpool. Zimride is a social network that interfaces with Facebook, allowing students, faculty, and staff to share commutes or one-time road trips. The service will help reduce campus traffic, parking difficulties, and provide cost-savings to the campus community. It also aligns with SCU’s goal of reaching climate neutrality by the end of 2015 by reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles on campus.
“Zimride’s solution is appealing to our students, faculty, and staff, which will enable us to reduce congestion and make campus commuting more efficient for everyone,” said Millie Kenney, SCU’s interim service manager for Campus Safety Services.
Starting today, all SCU students, faculty, and staff can access the free SCU Zimride network at www.zimride.scu.edu. The private system requires an ecampus ID to gain access, and once they’re logged in, they’ll be able to link their Facebook profile. The service helps everyone on campus carpool and save money on parking costs, which can run as much as $250 a year. Faculty, staff, and students who currently carpool to campus can park for free, if they’re already registered for SCU’s carpool program.
“We hope Zimride will encourage more people to carpool and hopefully get more people signed up for SCU’s carpool program,” said Kenney.
A recent commuter survey conducted by Santa Clara University’s Office of Sustainability found that the majority of faculty (63 percent) and staff (72 percent) drive to campus via car and drive alone. While most students (51 percent) walk, bike, or skateboard to campus, 38 percent are driving to class by themselves.
“If you look at the numbers, we definitely have room for improvement,” said Lindsey Cromwell Kalkbrenner, director of SCU’s Office of Sustainability. “Adding Zimride gives people options that are affordable and convenient.”
“This is a win-win situation for everyone, especially for students who live off campus and for faculty and staff whose commute can be terrible in the mornings and evenings,” said Courtney-Lauren Seymour, SCU’s student body president. “Anyone who regularly drives on Bay Area freeways knows how brutal traffic can be. By carpooling, they’ll be able to drive in the carpool lanes, shortening the amount of time they spend on the road.”
As SCU becomes more sustainable, the university is reducing the number of cars on campus. It’s already eliminated 107 parking spaces, leaving drivers to fight for 2,915 spaces on all of SCU’s properties both on and off the main campus. SCU has also converted six parking spaces to charging stations for electric cars to encourage more people to reduce their carbon footprint.
You can learn more about all of SCU’s sustainability initiatives at www.scu.edu/sustainability.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.
Zimride is the largest online social rideshare community in North America with over 350,000 users. Zimride has implemented private rideshare communities for over 80 of the nation’s leading universities and companies including Stanford, Texas A&M, UCLA, Michigan, Cornell, Jet Blue and CIGNA.
Zimride embraces ridesharing as a social activity and integrates with Facebook and Twitter to make it fun and easy for users to share the seats in their car or find a ride. On Zimride, participants create profiles that show their favorite in-car music, radio stations and even smoking preferences to ensure an enjoyable ride.
Zimride’s site, http://www.zimride.com, empowers individuals to create social, sustainable and convenient transportation.
Connie Kim Coutain | SCU | firstname.lastname@example.org | 408-554-5126 O | 408-829-4836 C
John Zimmer | Zimride | email@example.com | 203-912-9600