Friday, October 7, 2011

Google Commuting: Inspiration and Implementation for UIC?

Google, one of the leading and innovative companies out in the field right now, has once again showed us all how to make life more efficient.

The company, like every other, has a lot of people who travel far from home to work. What sets Google apart from those other companies, though, is that they have made the extra effort to provide and encourage other means of transportation.

The GBus is basically a modern-day school bus system for all employees to utilize to get to their beloved job. The bus is decked out with coach-like bus seats and even has internet availability for the working multi-taskers. (Check out the video below for a visual explanation)

In addition to the shuttle system, the company has electric car plug-ins in their parking lots and has some employees that travel by pogo sticks, kayaks or bicycles. The company claims to have removed 7,000 one-way car trips a day and has saved more than 5, 400 metric tons of CO2 in a year.

Google's companies are in slightly warmer climates compared to the winter haven that is known as the University of Illinois at Chicago. But Google's implementation of the services that encourage sustainability is sure a model that UIC can follow.

Since about 85% of our student population are commuters, would it be bright to implement a school bus-like service to campus? We have commuter shuttles and buses, but are they really that efficient compared to Google's implementation?

I'm sure money is a very big factor in terms of obtaining more efficient bus systems, seeing as Google is a very profitable company and UIC is still owed money by the state of Illinois. However, it would be nice to direct funds to a more efficient commuter shuttle system that would be beneficial for students commuters and our environment. And hey, maybe we can even try to get internet access for those surely busy commuter students. Just a thought.

How does Google's advancements inspire you and how could UIC implement something like the company does? Share your thoughts in the comments section, we'd love to hear from you.

2 comments: said...

Great post, great idea.

I believe UIC still provides a shuttle to Union Station, but, does it reach major CTA transfer points? Such as the Lake stop, Roosevelt, North/Milwaukee/Damen etc. That could increase efficiency.

Also, does UIC provide a Car Pool database which would allow commuters to contact each other via a message board?

Mike Queroz said...

Since CTA already covers UIC-Chicago area there are no specific transfer points that the shuttles cover. Although, UIC does have shuttles that go to the Metra stations and inter-campus ones.

Also, check out our new blog on the UIC iCarpool service - it allows students and faculty to share rides to and from campus.

Thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated.