Wishing you had someone to talk to on that daily commute? Or how about Western Carolina University students who would like to go home for the weekend but have no transportation?
Now there’s a website available to solve those issues. Wcu.sharetheridenc.org is a ride share program designed for those who are seeking commute and travel partners at WCU. Simply by using their home and work or school addresses, WCU faculty, staff and students with similar schedules can be matched.
And best of all, the service is free, said WCU chief sustainability officer Lauren Bishop.
“We get a lot of requests, especially for one-time trips from parents,” Bishop said. “Parking and transportation also gets a lot of requests. We’re lucky that we have this available in the state of North Carolina. It’s actually a pretty robust system. Typically, you have to pay for it, but we’re lucky that there is strong leadership in the state to help implement this and try to reduce emissions and promote ride sharing.”
Funding for the program is provided by NCDOT and various other state agencies in support of the effort to improve air quality. In addition to carpooling, the website can be used to find partners for biking and walking.
To register, users must have WCU email credentials: @wcu.edu; @email.wcu.edu; or @catamount.wcu.edu. Once registered, your profile information is entered into a database that searches for other WCU commuters with similar commute routes and schedules.
People you match with will see your first name, commute preferences and the contact information you choose to share. You can also choose to hide all information. Your home address will never appear on match lists and you may choose who to contact among your matches.
“I’ve had recent questions from faculty and staff about ride sharing and carpooling tools,” Bishop said. “I hope a lot of people use it. It’s also cool because it’ll help you find buddies to go walking and biking with. You can even find a buddy to ride on the Cat Tran if you want to. It’s a way to make friends across campus.”