Rideshare program relieves the pocket pinch

By Rachel Cabamongan and Meghan Lopez

With the high price of gas, rising tuition, and a dwindling economy, many students find themselves strapped for cash. However, an innovative carpooling program offers a glimmer of hope.

Every morning, Charles Brodie and his sister star a one-hour trek from Mililani to the Univeristy of Hawaii at Manoa each day. Although this takes a toll on their gas bill, they consider it a fair price for a shot at a quality education. But through an innovative program called the Rideshare Program, they hope to ease the damage on paying for gas.

“It made me sick to my stomach to see how many cars were on the road,” said UH Junior, Charles Brodie. Brodie is part of a carpooling program to give students money saving means of transportation. Drivers will to give rides log on to the Rideshare website, post their information such as name, email address, location of where they drive from and departure time to school. Riders who come from the same are partner up with each driver.

Benefits of participating in the program include splitting the cost of parking, gas and can utilize the HOV lane during morning rush hour traffic. The program was introduced in 2003, to provide a transportation alternative to students and faculty affected by the bus strike in Honolulu. The program soon shut down after the strike problems were resolved. It was revived in the summer of 2007 when Daniela Andrade, a student, wrote a letter to the university’s president asking if there was something the school could do to ease the cost of her commute from the North Shore each morning, said Carolyn Tanaka, associate vice president for external affairs.

“We took her letter and thought, this is a great idea,” she said. “What we wanted to do was provide a service to students to hook up and work with each other and we didn’t want to get in the way.” Today UH Manoa is home to some 20,000 students in which 17,000 of them commute to school everyday. This program is one of several alternatives the school offers for transportation. The program has also expanded to include all 10 UH campus locations around the state.

If you want more information about the program, please visit the Rideshare website by clicking here.


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