5 Alternatives to Bringing a Car to College

Lined up for the Rat Races

The average cost of owning a car is now over $9,000/year. Yet the higher cost for students bringing a car to college is only one many costs that continue to rise on campus. Higher tuition, university fees, student housing, on campus parking, insurance and technology costs keep rising faster than incomes can keep pace.
To offset the rising costs, students and parents alike are searching for ways to cut back in other areas. The first place to look for many smart students and proactive parents is transportation.
With so many advances in transportation + technology, does a student really need to bring a car to campus in 2014?
The answer may surprise you. Many schools are facing budget cuts and in return are looking to reduce the number of cars coming to campus as enrollments increase.
Here are 5 Alternatives to Bringing a Car to College:
1.) Research: Find a school that embraces alternative transportation as an asset rather than an afterthought.
2.) Bike: Whether you bring your own or use a growing number of bike share programs – biking saves more than just money.
3.) Share: Car share services (like ZipCar) and Ride share programs (like RidePost) are becoming standards on campuses across the country. Make sure your school has both, if not – ask for it.
4.) Public Transportation: Find out how close the nearest train station, bus station or airports are. And how accessible are they from campus?
5.) Walk: Even students who bring cars to campus leave them parked over 90% of the time. Make sure that the campus you are looking at is walkable and is safe to do so.
Bonus: Several schools now have a safe ride home program – for when you are studying or otherwise late night and need to get home after dark, but do not want to walk.
Gone are the days of being stuck in your cramped dorm room if you do not bring a car to campus. With a new generation of post-Facebook era students – innovative transportation programs and mobile technology on college campuses allow you to save money on cars even if other college related costs continue to rise.

7 Top Colleges For a Car-Free Student

RidePost Van

With the rising cost of car ownership and increasing college tuition – more than ever before college students and parents are questioning if they really do need to bring a car to campus. As a result, college administrators and student group leaders are beginning to realize the importance of providing alternative transportation options for students and employees who do not want to bring a car to campus everyday.

Reducing the number of cars on campus is no longer just about freshman car restrictions.

Here is a list of 7 standout colleges and universities that are rising above the pack on enabling a car-free college experience.

7 top colleges for car free students:

  1. Princeton University – offers a complete Car Free Guide to Princeton University
  2. Clemson University - offers free area bus transit for local transportation and an airport shuttle to the nearest airports (via RidePost) for long distance trips
  3. University of Wisconsin, Madison – students and employees receive unlimited area bus passes
  4. University of Texas at Austin – students can rent bikes free of charge and have free access to local buses
  5. University of Dayton – after outgrowing their already popular bike sharing program, students who pledge not to bring a car to campus are rewarded with a free bike
  6. University of Pittsburgh – offers bus trips home to major cities and hubs in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions for verified students.
  7. Any military academy – Let’s just say that students/cadets/midshipmen/etc do not need to worry about transportation to and from campus at our prestigious military academies – that is taken care of. Something many other schools could learn from.

As more students as well as parents look for alternative transportation options, these leading schools and many others are offering options to car-free living on campus.

5 reasons why teens are not driving, and why colleges must adapt

According to the US DOT and a University of Michigan study, in 2010 only 28% of 16 year olds had their drivers license. This is down from 44% in 1980 – an incredible decline. With more millennials choosing not to drive – a generational shift in transportation is coming, and fast.

Teen Driving

Studies have shown the number of teen drivers continues to fall in the US, while the millennial generation values access to transportation – via technology – over owning a car and driver license. Thanks to new online and mobile ways to connect with friends and others – the need for freedom of a car at age 16 is no longer as important as it once was.

So why are more young people deciding not to own a car and get a drivers license?

A 2013 University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute study shows the top 5 reasons for the recent decline in young driver licensing in the US:

  1. Too busy or not enough time
  2. Owning and Maintaining a vehicle is too expensive
  3. Able to get transportation from others
  4. Prefer to bike or walk
  5. Prefer to use public transportation

With the rise of mainstream technology and communication over the last decade – an entire generation is now coming through college and early careers with a new idea of how spending money and transportation mix. Facing a rising number of students and young residents demanding new transportation options, leading colleges and cities are making it easier to live car free.
No longer does living car free mean being restricted and homebound. Be it bike sharing, car sharing, ridesharing, online classes, remote working or public transit – transportation habits are shifting everywhere.

On college campuses in particular – it is becoming easier to come to campus without buying a car and spending the $9,000+ that it costs on average on car ownership every year. Many college parking and transportation departments, student life coordinators and sustainability directors are wising up to the need for alternative transportation options for the new generation that no longer need to bring cars to campus.

By the end of this decade the need for bringing cars to campus will change and those colleges that adapt will be able to better recruit and retain their students on campus.

For more information on how RidePost helps universities stay ahead, visit RidePost.com/Universities

How members use RidePost

With the holiday travel season ahead – travel is on all of our minds. A big question each year is ‘how to save money on travel’.

At RidePost we are big on traveling and saving money while we do. Whether you are traveling by car, bus, train or plane this holiday – there are ways to save money.

If you are driving: using RidePost you can save you on gas money, toll fees, parking fees and general car upkeep.
If you are looking for transportation: consider RidePost as a low cost way to travel.

Here is a list of ways people are using RidePost today:

Visit RidePost today to find more information.

Duke University Launches RidePost Private Network

Duke rideshare Powered by RidePost

Duke University launches a new rideshare and commuter network just for students and employees.

Alternative transportation on college campuses is a growing need and Duke University is the latest school to bring RidePost to campus. The new site gives students, faculty and staff members their own private ridesharing network: Duke.RidePost.com.

RidePost is the new standard for transportation on college and university campuses and Duke University joins a growing number of schools choosing to become leaders in alternative transportation on campus while offering low cost options for students and employees to carpool.

Exclusive to verified students, faculty, and staff – Duke now has a private ridesharing and carpooling network to meet the specific transportation needs of the campus community.

But this isn’t your old school hitch hiking, this is RidePost. Safety is key and on top of many other safety measures it requires a verified and current @Duke.edu email address to join. In addition, members can connect their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to increase transparency as well as see any mutual connections with others.

RidePost is working with Duke’s Parking and Transportation Services to not only reduce the costs of transportation, but to lower congestion and reduce the need for cars on campus. You can learn more about this in the Duke Today article

If you’re affiliated with Duke, be sure to check out Duke’s RidePost page and start exploring how you can save money on transportation.

If you are affiliated with another college or university and would like more information about how to bring RidePost to your school please contact us at Universities@RidePost.com.

Still more questions about our private networks? Send us a quick note to Hello@RidePost.com.

ABOUT RIDEPOST PRIVATE NETWORKS:

RidePost is the new standard in transportation for colleges and universities. RidePost private networks help universities and organizations provide alternative transportation options while more accurately measuring activity specific to the campus community. Because the RidePost Private Network is exclusive to university only members, RidePost can translate that activity to miles, emissions, and cars on campus saved. Bringing the RidePost private network to your campus or organization is the simple, responsible and affordable way to showcase alternative transportation options to your community.

Contact: Universities@RidePost.com

Dickinson College joins the RidePost Network

DIckinson College Rideboard

Hello Red Devils, we are sooooo happy to see you!

Alternative transportation on college campuses is a growing need and Dickinson College is the latest (and greatest) school to bring RidePost to campus. The new site gives students, faculty and staff members their own private ridesharing network: Dickinson.RidePost.com.

Dickinson College is the latest in a growing number of colleges and universities choosing to become leaders in sustainable transportation on campus while offering low cost transportation.

Exclusive to verified students, faculty, and staff, Dickinson now has a private ridesharing and carpooling network to meet the specific transportation needs of the campus community.

But this isn’t your old school hitch hiking, this is RidePost. Safety is key and on top of many other safety measures it requires a verified Dickinson email address to join.

As an added bonus, the school will now be using RidePost for all future holiday shuttle signups. The new network will streamline all future break shuttle signups making it easier than ever for students to find alternative transportation.

We are working directly with Dickinson’s administration to not only reduce the costs of transportation, but to lower congestion and reduce the number of cars on campus. You can learn more on Dickinson’s ride board here.

If you’re affiliated with Dickinson, be sure to check out RidePost Dickinson and start posting your trips, ASAP!

If you are affiliated with another college or university and would like more information about how to bring RidePost to your school please contact us at Universities@RidePost.com.

Still more questions about our private networks? Shoot us a quick note @ Hello@RidePost.com.

ABOUT RIDEPOST PRIVATE NETWORKS:

RidePost is the new standard in transportation services for colleges and universities. RidePost private networks help universities and organizations provide alternative transportation options while more accurately measuring activity specific to the campus community. Because the RidePost Private Network is exclusive to university only members, RidePost can translate that activity to miles, emissions, and cars on campus saved.

6 Myths About Ridesharing Busted

6 ridesharing myths, busted.

We get many questions from our growing member base. Some of the more common things we hear at RidePost are about ridesharing myths.  So we decided to share some easy to digest answers to a few questions, Mythbusters style:

1.) My parents have taught me that getting into the car with a stranger is bad.

Mom and dad are right on this. Picking up a random vagabond on the side of the road with a thumb out or agreeing to get into a windowless van with the ice cream man is not the best way to go. Don’t do that. Ever.

This is why we created RidePost. When booking your trip on RidePost, not only will you know who you are travelling with ahead of time, but you can send mom/dad/friend/family/Facebook friends a unique Trip Itinerary link, where they can see:

  • Who you are traveling with
  • What your itinerary is and driving path
  • When and where you will be meeting
  • Info on your driver and passengers
  • Pre Trip conversations between drivers and passengers

2.)  Isn’t ridesharing like hitch hiking?

No. Fortunately alot has changed since the days of anonymous hitchhiking of 1970′s. Back in the day there was no way to check the reputation and personal information about others ahead of time.

Then the internet happened.

Thanks to online media, an entire generation of people are growing up with real reputations online. Using RidePost, you will know more about the people you are traveling with than you would if you get into a bus, a plane or a train. With RidePost, every driver and passenger self selects into the trip – so if you don’t want to ride with another person you can choose not to. Every traveler on RidePost must have a profile that connects with their social media, so you will see ahead of time if you have mutual friends, so you know exactly who you are dealing with before you ever get into the car with another member. Plus – you will see real and verified reviews of other people’s prior trips. So just like on eBay or Amazon.com where you can see how a buyer or seller has performed in the past, you can make a decision about a person based on their reputation and what others have experienced with them.

3.) What about the craigslist crazies?

Our enemy is anonymity. We believe that you deserve to know as much as possible about the person you are transacting with, before agreeing to book or buy. For this reason, there is no place for anonymous transactions in a post Facebook world.

You should know ahead of time who you will be traveling with, and make a decision of whether or not that person seems interesting to you. Because the only thing more important than the destination when traveling, is the people you are traveling with.

4.) Ridesharing is for unemployed hippies only.

Not true. Today in Europe there are over 2 million people sharing rides every month. In the US we have more cars, and more miles being driven in single occupancy vehicles. As gas prices and costs of car ownership continue to rise, a record number of people are turning to alternative transportation to get to where they need to go.

These are not just unemployed hippies. They are educated young professionals and savy business people. In fact, one of our biggest feature requests has been for a way to signup via LinkedIn. This is coming from a growing number of professionals who may not have a Facebook account, but have a LinkedIn account and are looking to save some money. Hello Networking 101!

5.) I don’t want to be stiffed by my passengers who say they will pay me $30 for a ride, but when we get to our destination they amazingly “forgot” they don’t have any cash.

No worries my friend. Everyone of our trips are booked in advance (ideally >2 days in advance). When a passenger requests a ride with a driver, they already have verified their credit card. As soon as a driver accepts a ride request, the passenger’s credit card is charged. This way there is no awkward cash transaction or doubt about the person’s ability to pay.

6.) I have a job, so I don’t have time to ride with someone else.

Not true. If you need to travel on a business trip or are just looking for a way to be more efficient on the road, ridesharing may actually improve your travel productivity.

Think of it this way, instead of driving yourself or shuffling between airports, you can ride shotgun while another RidePoster drives. This way you can spend all of your travel time working, running your business from the road and being productive while leaving the driving to someone else. Not to mention you will save money on travel, up to 75% of business travel costs, by using RidePost. If you are smart enough to have that job of yours, you know any boss would be happy if you save her money.

We hope this helps answer some of your ridesharing questions. If it was helpful to you we ask that you please share it with your friends or network. Help spread the good word.

If you have more please email us anytime @ Hello@RidePost.com.

The RidePost Support Team

The New RidePost

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 8.17.11 AM

To celebrate one year since launching RidePost we released an all new look to RidePost. Version 2 of RidePost takes into account an entire year worth of feedback and communication from our growing member base. Our goal was to address the challenges we hear the most and plan accordingly for continued future growth. Our major issues to address:

  • Focus on People: In order to eliminate anonymity in travel, we want to showcase our members. When finding a ride on RidePost you will know more about the person you are traveling with than if you would have been in a plane, a train or a bus. This now starts from the very first page.
  • Recurring Trips: Commuting sucks and finding a carpool is historically difficult because people’s schedules change for kids, weather, family etc. However, with the cost of daily commuting adding up (gas, maintenance, car payments, parking, tolls, etc) more people are using RidePost to find others in the area to match up and form a flexible carpool with to work or campus. After talking with many of our members we have a new way for people to post and find others nearby to join in a recurring ride.
  • Member Dashboard: All the information you need about past, current and future bookings is now available for you in your user dashboard.
  • Simple Landing Page: A landing page is like a front door. Click here to see our new front door: New Landing Page
  • Mobile Friendly: We see higher volumes of mobile traffic every week, so we made a big update here. More specific data and stats on this below.
  • Move One More Step Forward: We want to be the best in the world at solving transportation problems. So as we do with any decision, large or small, we worked on solutions to make RidePost better than we were the day before.

Here are a few of the highlights to the new RidePost and why they happened:

New Look: As a record number of people are looking for alternative transportation, one area we can have an impact is to remove anonymity from travel. We focused our redesign on people first. You will now see much more information about people and their reputation before deciding to accept or decline a booking.

Mobile Friendly: Many RidePosters loved the look and feel of RidePost since our launch (hat tip to the fine design team at KA+A for their help there). However there was one recurring theme: viewing RidePost on your phone was a challenge. To be honest, booking a trip on a smart phone before was about as fun as going to the DMV. Well we have taken a step forward on mobile, now you can find and book rides with ease on RidePost.com. We made the decision early on at RidePost to build web first for two main reasons:

  1. Web design and development was the strength of our team
  2. RidePost trips are meant to be booked in advance – similar to a bus, plane or train ticket

78% of our traffic still comes through desktop and laptop browsers, however what we realized over the last 6 months was a growing portion of our traffic is coming from mobile browsers. Our traffic today is 22% mobile – up from 15% just 6 months ago – and growing in both volume and proportion of our overall traffic. We knew that with any major development project, we would need to invest in our mobile site. As a result you will see a completely new experience on RidePost via your smartphone today.

New Features:

  • Commuting: We tested this with an MVP style hack on one of our private networks – thanks wufoo. While testing it, we had a higher number of conversions than expected, so we have now launched what we believe is the easiest way to find others looking for a flexible commute schedule.
  • Account Dashboard: Under “My Account” you can see the number of trips you have made, the number of RidePost events you have upvoted and how many people you have referred to RidePost - note: the more friends you refer to us, the more likely we are to send you free stuff :)
  • My Rides: A common ask from members was an easier way to view your past rides and future bookings. Now you will be able to view not only the rides you have posted, but any other ride you are a part of in the past and future.
  • Accounts: If you offer a ride to another RidePost member, now you can use that money toward your future travel. Kind of like free money for you. When you are ready to cash out, you can send the balance of your RidePost account straight to your bank account.
  • Ride Cancelation: Now if your plans change or you request a seat with someone by accident you can cancel your trip – self service. No more frantic chatting with our support team at 3am – although we love hearing from you anytime.
  • Store: We now have RidePost logo items available here: RidePostShop.com
  • It doesn’t stop there, we have more goodies throughout the site and more on the way.

How Did We Do It? 

We get asked this question alot so we thought we would answer it here. We did all our work internally. We have an amazing and talented team at RidePost and everyone had a big part in our updates. Special hat tip goes to Robert as he led the development and redesign.

Going Forward:

Exciting times at RidePost. We have exceeded our growth targets this summer and look forward to continuing to offer the best transportation tools for our growing member base.

Our Vision:

The RidePost Vision is to build the 4th Element of Public Transportation. A cost effective, safe and reliable network. We won’t get you around town, but we will get you out of town.

Thank you for being a part of our journey – we are just getting started.

The RidePost Team

Airport Shuttle: The RidePost Solution

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At RidePost, we have been testing a new spin on airport shuttles with selected pilot customers (no pun intended).

What have we learned? We have learned more and more people are seeking alternative transportation to and from the airport.

What do we do next? We will continue to refine this new transportation option and release it slowly for our members going forward.

Want to try it out? To become a member of our early launch team or to learn more how RidePost can help drive more customers to your transportation business, send us a note to Hello@RidePost.com, with the subject line “Airpost Shuttle”.

Travel Safe!