Staggering gas prices have put a damper on leisure travel, limiting many people to only mandatory activities such as school or work. Fort Hays State University's Bill Smriga (smree-guh), director of Memorial Union, thought that ride-sharing would become a lot more popular and looked for a way to make it easier.
The result is Rideshare Service, an online carpooling system that offers a free way for students, staff and faculty to reduce travel costs.
Smriga said he wanted "to find a safe and effective, money-saving mode of transportation for students, staff and faculty." Rideshare is set up through AlterNetRides, an online nationwide carpooling company, which was referred to Smriga by another university.
The service is basically an online system where drivers and riders can become members and connect with each other. Rideshare Service can be found online through a link at the top right side of the Memorial Union Web page at www.fhsu.edu/union/.
The first step is to become a member. The membership process begins with a click on the link provided on the Rideshare Service home page. Among the information required is a place for the driver to meet the rider. The pick-up point should not, for safety reasons, be the rider's home address.
After registering, a rider looking for a ride logs in, chooses a destination and gets a list of drivers going there. The rider initiates the contact through e-mail.
"Although the Rideshare Service is targeted toward FHSU students, staff and faculty are also encouraged to partake in this money-saving opportunity," said Smriga. The service is safe and free.
Smriga recommends getting better acquainted with the potential carpooler by meeting them in advance for coffee or a soda.
Rideshare Service is an opportunity to save money on gas and meet other people, and AlterNetRides even has a "thank you" for joining the program -- drivers may print out a $5 coupon to be redeemed at local Jiffy Lubes.
For more information, check out the Web site service link found in the upper right hand corner of www.fhsu.edu/union/ or call (785) 628-5307.