On Tuesday, November 13, Colgate’s Student Government Association (SGA) launched a ride sharing initiative to make student travel easier during break.
The initiative provided students around campus with access to a Google spreadsheet, where individuals were able to place their travel destination, whether or not they needed a ride or could provide transport, phone numbers and departure time.
The original spreadsheet started after senior Grace Cromwell noticed how many people were asking for rides in the Link Staff Group Me.
SGA President and senior Jenny Lundt said she knew the entire student body, not just Link Staff, could benefit from this idea.
“I knew when I opened it that this was something that had to be sent out to the whole school. Every time I go to the airport, I’m struck by how many Colgate people are on my flight.”
The spreadsheet allows a more streamlined approach to getting rides over break.
“I imagine there are 200 or more people that go to the airport an hour away each and every break. One hundred of those people ask their friends to drive them the full hour to Syracuse. It just doesn’t make sense to be sending 100 mostly empty cars to Syracuse each break,” Lundt said.
The spreadsheet allowed riders to offer gas money to drivers. The existing Colgate on-demand shuttle service charges a one-way fee of $92.58 per person to transport individuals to or from Syracuse airport. For many students, the ability to opt for carpools instead alleviated this financial burden.
Senior Talia Greenblatt said she remembers how difficult it was to find rides when she was a first-year.
“I know when I was an underclassman I never knew anybody that had a car. Now that I have one, I don’t know underclass- men who need a ride. I think it’s really great the SGA set up this system where you can offer rides and help people out even if you haven’t previously known them.”
Greenblatt was contacted by another Colgate student who saw that she would be heading to Boston over break.
“It’s nice because I don’t love driving alone and they were able to help pay for gas. I think this is a really easy and effective way to relieve stress some students face figuring out transportation plans,” Greenblatt said.
Lundt explained the potential she sees in a successful ride-sharing program for breaks, should more than the 110 who participated this break sign-up in the future.
“It’s obviously wonderful to help the 100 plus people that used the ride share this time, but can you imagine if the power of our community helped 2,000 people? If each person had that thought of someone else being stuck with no ride in mind, we would be such a stronger community,” Lundt said.
The SGA is planning to provide a similar spreadsheet for each upcoming academic break.
Contact Alexandra Weimer at [email protected]