Posted November 14, 2011

Ride-sharing site offers sustainable alternative for Thanksgiving travel

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel holidays in the United States. With rising airline fees and gas prices hovering around $4 per gallon, traveling home for Thanksgiving is also becoming more expensive.

Temple’s Office of Sustainability has a solution for members of the Temple community who are looking for ways to get home for Thanksgiving without breaking the bank: Zimride, Temple’s online carpooling network.

Zimride is an online carpooling program that allows individuals with a email address to post or search rides. The program is free, and has the ability for optional Facebook integration. Zimride also allows users to identify how much they want to pay or receive for the ride in their ride post.

“Students really like this feature, because it eliminates the awkward negotiations in the car,” said Sandy McDade, director of the Office of Sustainability. “They are able to know upfront how much the driver wants for the ride. They can see if this ride is cheaper than taking MegaBus or Bolt.”

Zimride is also a great option for those last-minute travelers who waited to book their flights, train tickets or bus rides home only to find that the tickets are sold out or out of their price point.

“Thanksgiving break often sneaks up on students because it is right after the big midterm push,” said McDade. “With Zimride, students don’t have to worry about booking their ride with 14 days advance notice. Students can post a week before and still find options for ways to get home.”

Temple’s Office of Sustainability launched Zimride in April 2011, becoming the first university in Philadelphia to offer the program. Temple joined over 60 colleges and universities around the country to offer Zimride.

The Office of Sustainability introduced Zimride as a way to fulfill Temple’s Climate Action Plan, which seeks to reduce 30 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. According to the Climate Action Plan, 19 percent of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions were from transportation. This statistic includes travel to and from campus by all members of the Temple community. Zimride makes it more convenient to share rides and eliminate the use of single occupancy vehicles.

To search or post a ride, visit Temple's Zimride community.