RideShare helps students, faculty find a ride home

Emelie Knobloch

Looking for a way to make getting home easier, while reducing impact on the environment? The ISU RideShare program can help.

According to Iowa State’s website, the RideShare program is a service for students, faculty and staff at Iowa State wishing to arrange shared transportation to and from the ISU campus. Participants may request a ride, as well as offer one. 

On the same website, is also a carpool option for those who are commuting to and from Ames.

To join the RideShare program, go to the RideShare page on Iowa State’s website and log in with your Iowa State information.

“I was involved in the discussions and giving feedback about the components of the RideShare website,” said Merry Rankin, Iowa State’s director of sustainability.

GSB first looked at a website for a RideShare program in 2006.

Rankin said when she was a student at Iowa State in the ’80s, there was a bulletin board on a wall where students posted the information with index cards.

“I don’t think ride-sharing is a new idea but this is an interactive tool for students to use with assurance about security,” Rankin said.

In 2009, a bill was proposed to update the RideShare website, making it more secure and easier to use.

An update was made in 2010. It included allowing only people with university net IDs to log on to the page and to post ride offers and requests.

“There has probably always been students sharing rides at Iowa State, but we have developed it and evolved it to a new level,” Rankin said. “It makes it that much easier and secure.”

Rankin said the website today is basically the same as when GSB updated the website in 2010.

‘With the login, you know that you are working within the Iowa State community, so there aren’t any elements of concern,” Rankin said.

Rankin said this is a great option for students who don’t have vehicles at Iowa State.

“Iowa State doesn’t have to accommodate for all of those extra vehicles,” Rankin said. “From a sustainability standpoint, accommodating for all of those vehicles would impair other projects.”

Nicole Samuelson, junior in event management, said the RideShare program is great for students who don’t have a car and need a ride home.

“I have friends whose parents drive two or three hours just to get here to pick them up,” Samuelson said. “That is four to six hours of driving, wasted, when someone here could just give them a ride.”

Samuelson said it benefits the driver too, since they would only have to pay half of what they would usually pay to drive home.

“For those of you that haven’t been to the website, I really encourage you to go check it out and just see how easy it is to use,” Rankin said.

Rankin said students who have a car should consider giving rides to students who don’t and help reduce the environmental impact Iowa State is making collectively.

“Ensuring we have a greener campus is a team effort, so looking at how we can best support our team will benefit us all,” Rankin said.