Ride share moves to planning stage

The Northern Kentucky University Student Government Association recently passed a resolution endorsing a plan to create a ride share board and it is currently awaiting the university approval process.

Campus Space and Planning Coordinator Jane Goode said that the ride share board is still in its investigative stages, but according to SGA President Kevin Golden, administration is responding positively to the resolution.

“I would love for the ride share program to begin next semester,” Golden said. “I’m not sure when it will go through the university approval process, though.”

The idea of the program has been around for a long time, according to Jane Goode. Lately the concept is becoming popular on universities and campuses as a means of reducing carbon footprints and saving money. Eastern Kentucky University and University of Kentucky are two nearby universities that have adopted ride share programs.

There are a few different types of ride share boards which could be selected by administration. One option is for commuters to carpool to campus with other commuters. Another possibility would be to create a ride share board that will connect students who do not own cars with students who do.

The ride share board might even provide students with the option of sharing rides home for the holidays or to events, like concerts.

“A ride share board would provide a way to get in contact with people looking to go where you are going, or past there,” said SGA Senator Erik Pederson. “For example, if I’m trying to get to Lexington, I could look on the board and find someone to ride with who is going south of Lexington.”

While the different ride share options are undergoing investigation by the university, Golden thinks that the board should be a combination of said options.

“What I would like is if someone is going home to Louisville, Dayton or Indianapolis, or even if they’re just going to Kenwood for the day, that they’ll be able to connect with someone else who is going to the same place,” Golden said.

Regardless of what type of board is created, SGA and Campus and Space Planning representatives agree that a rideshare board would help save money for its participants.

“If you stand and watch people pull into parking lots, mostly what you’ll see is one car with one driver and no passengers,” Goode said. “With ride share, you can have one driver and three or four passengers. If you have four people riding together, each person only has to pay one-fourth of the money for gas, and only one parking pass has to be purchased as opposed to four.

SGA Senator John Jose is also in favor of fewer students having to buy parking passes.

“If people ride together, they can help pay for gas and parking passes, too, which would help, since NKU will lose some parking spaces with the upcoming construction,” Jose said.

In addition to paying less for gas and parking passes, a ride share board would help in reducing NKU’s carbon footprint.

“NKU is mainly a commuter campus,” Pederson said. “There are only about 4,000 students living on campus, and that means the rest are driving to campus. Some of those students are driving that distance every day, and that means they’re putting that much more fuel into the environment.”

Campus and Space Planning is also looking at whether the rideshare board will be physical or online. According to Jose, he is pushing for the board to be online, because it would be more convenient for participants.

“No decision has been made,” Goode said. “Investigation into different options is ongoing. We have to assess whether or not the situation is correct for us, but many campuses are making this selection.”

Story by Roxanna Blevins