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Apr 03, 2014 04:35 PM EDT

Syracuse University Launches New Ridesharing Program


Syracuse University in New York has launched a new ridesharing program aimed at providing transportation options and benefits for students, faculty and staff, school officials announced Monday.

Zimride is a private service that connects potential drivers and passengers easily, helping to make carpooling an easier option.

At the University, the program will be offered and supported by three campus departments: the Sustainability Division, the Office of Parking and Transit Services and the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services.

"This is really something we support and are hoping that faculty, staff and students will find very beneficial," Scot Vanderpool, manager with the Office of Parking and Transit Services, said in a statement. 

Campus parking permits are pro-rated, so individuals can turn their permit in if they find a carpool match through Zimride, Vanderpool added.

The ridesharing program will provide an essential service to the University both in bolstering the University's commitment to the Climate Action Plan, working toward carbon neutrality and helping to counter the tight parking situation on campus.

Zimride engages users through social profiles and optional Facebook functionality. Individuals can make connections based on being a driver or passenger, departure and arrival times, and other criteria. Zimride is a tool not just for use in commuting to campus, but can also be used to arrange rides from campus to other points around the country, such as students going home for weekends or breaks.

The Zimride network will also include "a module that will allow the University to post the location of away sporting events to all SU members, providing easy access to finding or offering a ride to the game," according to University officials.

 "This is an effort to meet our community's needs while reducing our impact on the climate," Melissa Cadwell, marketing manager for the Sustainability Division, said in a statement. "It's a win-win situation."

 Cornell University and Ithaca College are among the area colleges and universities enrolled in the network.

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