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Learn about your rideshare options

More than 70,000 people travel to the University of Washington every day, and there’s a good chance that one of them is going your way. UW commuters take more than 16,000 trips via carpool or vanpool every week and autumn is an excellent time to give ridesharing a try.

“I used to drive alone, but now I vanpool because it offers me a better, shorter commute,” says Tracy Jackson, a custodian with UW Facilities. “It’s quicker and easier to get from Point A to Point B with the HOV lane.”

Other benefits of sharing the ride:

  • Save money on gas, parking, tolls, insurance and vehicle maintenance
  • Commute more efficiently with HOV lanes, priority ferry loading and parking
  • Tailor a flexible commute by riding when you want to ride
  • Make the daily commute “your” time and use it to do what you want to do
  • Have more fun by riding with people you know

Here are some easy ways to give carpooling and vanpooling a try and experience how sharing the ride can help you create a great commute:

  1. Run the numbers on UW Sustainability’s Commuter Calculator to figure out how much you could save by sharing the ride.
  2. Ask a friend to share the ride, then get a daily carpool parking permit at one of our gatehouses, and split the $7.50 rate (or add a third and split the discounted rate of $5).
  3. Explore new smart phone apps that can help you find a carpool partner — iCarpool, Scoop and Waze are a few of the ridematch services available in and around the Sound, and some are offering promotions in October.
  4. Check out Zimride (UW’s private rideshare network) to find out who’s looking for a partner to commute to campus or share the ride for a one-time trip like going home for Thanksgiving. Take two minutes to start your own Zimride account and invite other travelers to join you.
  5. Visit RideshareOnline (the region’s public rideshare network) to find out how many people are going your way. Take two minutes to start your own account and invite other commuters to join you.
  6. “Test-ride” vanpooling. The transit agencies are always happy to let potential riders try vanpooling for a day or two, no questions asked, no commitment needed. If you like vanpooling, post a Riders Wanted sign in your department and see if you have enough people to start a vanpool. You can also invite people via Rideshareonline and Zimride.
  7. Contact UW Transportation Services for personalized commute planning assistance and get help starting a carpool or vanpool or finding more people to join your carpool or vanpool.

Use these tools and join the many Huskies who share the ride in a carpool or vanpool.