By Jeniel Terrero
Since it’s primarily a commuter campus, many LIU Post students drive their own vehicles. For those who don’t have access to a car, if they need to travel outside campus perimeters, the only options they have had in the past are taxis, the off-campus shuttle, or the N-20 MTA bus. These options often come with complications, usually concerning time and money. However, the university has expanded their transportation options with the Rideshare Portal.
The Ride Share Portal is a service LIU Post began offering on Monday, April 13, in partnership with 511NY Rideshare, a ride matching service for travelers and commuters. LIU Post students, faculty, and staff can register and create a profile online where they can find people to carpool with. The purpose of this service is to have individuals use an accessible service that finds other commuters who have similar travel routes and patterns, and with whom they can share a car. All of this, while helping the environment.
William Achnitz III, Coordinator of Campus Life and LIU Post Sustainability Program, said that the planning for this service began a few years back. “I was able to connect with representatives from 511NY Rideshare. We’ve always stayed in contact with one another and one thing about the ‘sustainability community’ is that we are always looking to build partnerships with each other to bring forth a more sustainable world. The rideshare portal was something we discussed way back when, and I’m happy that it’s been implemented here not just at LIU Post, but also at LIU Brooklyn, and all of LIU’s satellite campuses. It’s a Long Island University initiative,” Achnitz said.
The service is beneficial, Achnitz said, because it not only cuts your environmental footprint in half, but it cuts your commuting costs in half too.
The Rideshare Portal isn’t the only new travel service on campus. As The Pioneer reported on Jan. 27, the university now offers Zipcar, a car rental service for students who have a driver’s license but no car. According to Achnitz, many members of the Post Sustainability Committee, students and faculty, advocated for Zipcar. The administration was receptive, and recognized it was a service that the students wanted, and with the Student Government Association’s support, Zipcar arrived on campus this past October.
“Zipcar is an alternative to car ownership. Students may reserve a car hourly or daily by becoming a member of Zipcar. There is a cost to utilize the service, and [the campus] currently has two cars [that are] available to students. The Rideshare portal is an online matching database. It’s essentially a mechanism to find a carpool partner that has a similar commute. Although different, they are both sustainable alternatives to commuting by yourself,” Achnitz explained.
As a campus resident, junior Psychology major, Ileana Lado, believes that the Rideshare portal will be beneficial, and would not be opposed to trying it. “It definitely has potential to be more convenient than the transportation on campus since the shuttle doesn’t run as frequently or as late as it should. I have experienced hectic schedules, which the campus transportation doesn’t accommodate, so I would gladly give this new service a try. If implemented correctly, it can be a success, but there must be enough people registered and willing to participate for it to actually run efficiently,” Lado said.
Lado also said that because the university is a rural campus, there are many other places students would love to go to, but they are too far away, and other transportation methods won’t take them there. “If I use this service, I’m sure I can find others who are willing to go the distance, and I also won’t have to pay for the over-priced taxi services in Long Island,” Lado said.
The Office of Campus Life, in addition to Post’s Sustainability Committee, have been hosting events throughout the course of March and April to promote sustainability. Representatives from 511NY Rideshare have visited the campus multiple times this semester to discuss the resources that they provide to commuters. The Rideshare Portal can be accessed 24/7 at https://ridematch.511nyrideshare.org/ newyork/LIU. Zipcar is also available 24/7. You can make reservations online through http://www.zipcar.com/liupost once you have become a member of the service.