Carpooling service for a greener campus

27 September 2010

Ridelink launch attendeesMatchmakers: Attending the Ridelink official launch were (from left) Kate Pallett; John Critien, executive director of Properties and Services; vice-chancellor Dr Max Price; Kimon de Greef; and Francios Fagan.

A unique, student-led carpooling service is the latest brainchild of UCT's Green Campus Initiative (GCI). Coinciding with the first day of Green Week last week, Ridelink was officially opened by vice-chancellor Dr Max Price on 20 September. Aimed at alleviating UCT's parking congestion, reducing carbon emissions and saving users in petrol money, Ridelink is reportedly the first university carpooling system in the country.

Hosted on Vula and freely available to anyone with a UCT student or staff number, Ridelink is a carpooling matchmaker service. Users are partnered based on their similar travel schedules and routes, allowing them to organise carpools easily.

The need for such a system became apparent when the GCI took an informal survey of 200 cars entering the Sports Centre parking area one morning and found that almost 90% of these vehicles had only one occupant. They calculated that if half these drivers began sharing lifts to campus, they would help free up 90 more parking spaces.

As an incentive to take advantage of Ridelink, the P4 parking lot (next to the rugby fields) will be reserved for multiple-passenger vehicles only. Access will be controlled by a boom gate operated by a UCT traffic official.

"We've been working on Ridelink for a year, so it's great to be finally launching it," says GCI's Kimon de Greef. "It's a part of UCT life now, so it's up to us to make it work."

Ridelink is supported by UCT's Properties and Services Department.

(For more information watch the Ridelink video.)

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