Friday, October 28, 2011

UIC iCarpool's Potential Impact



I have a variety of titles - a UIC commuter student, Office of Sustainability intern, Vice President of the Undergraduate Student Government, to name a few - with all combined, I can realize the huge impact that this new service that UIC started this week:
The UIC Office of Sustainability and the Commuter Student Resource Center (CSRC) have introduced together a new service this week - UIC iCarpool
Through the OS and CSRC, UIC has partnered with iCarpool, an online ride-matching service, to bring a new transportation program that helps you find ride sharing opportunities within the school community. This partnership has been made as part of the Office of Sustainability's ongoing efforts to be a more sustainable institution by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It has also been made because of the CSRC's desire to provide faculty, staff, and students with more convenient and affordable transportation options. 
Fact: By carpooling instead of driving alone, participants can save 50% or more on travel and vehicle expenses, improve outdoor air quality, and reduce green house gas emissions by 3,000 lbs per year. The EPA estimates that this is the equivalent amount of carbon sequestered by 33 seedlings grown for 10 years!
Its refreshing to see that two different departments in our school have come together to start a service that compliments both of their missions. UIC iCarpool can be hugely successful if utilized by the UIC community. If the 85% commuter population (excluding the huge amount of faculty and staff) uses this new service in place, it will allow UIC to play a bigger part in being sustainable and will allow commuter students to find cheaper and easier ways of traveling by carpooling. There is no loss by using this service. 
I strongly urge every commuter, faculty, and staff to take advantage of the new UIC iCarpool service. The process is simple - register here and set up a profile using your @uic.edu or @illinois.edu account. Check the site frequently to see if new matches are present as membership increases. Plus, if you sign up and use the ride matching or trip logging function by November 15, you will be registered for a chance to win $50 gift cards to the UIC Bookstore. Who knows, you may even be carpooling with me!
For more information about iCarpool, please contact icarpool@uic.edu or call 312-413-7440

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