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Finding the perfect match

University program pairs students for carpooling

Five years ago, Florida Gulf Coast University introduced an online program to help students find their match. While it may not find you a date, Ride2FGCU is a carpooling program designed to help students arrange a ride with other FGCU students in their area.

Ride2FGCU.com allows anyone with an FGCU email address to find a carpool partner or partners. The matches are made based on similarities in student schedules and proximity. One of the biggest concerns of the program is that student addresses and schedules will be published online. Kathleen Crawford , coordinator of environmental stewardship and sustainability, assures that personal information is not exposed through the program.

“Potential matches can only see what the person chooses to put as a first name, and does not publish the commuter’s address, but lists the closest major intersection,” Crawford said.

Like most online matching programs, Ride2FGCU asks questions to ensure that students are getting the best possible match. The program allows students to see the potential match’s gender, seating preference, smoker/non-smoker status and if the match is an employee or student. There are 174 students actively registered and using Ride2FGCU. People without an FGCU email are not able to use the program, making it a strict university exclusive.

Crawford says that the program was initially introduced as an environmental initiative but later transformed into something that doubled as an economic benefi t to students. Students using the program fi nd that it is saving money while saving the environment.

Carleen Hunt, student Government director of sustainability, strongly supports the Ride2FGCU program as it correlates to the university’s mission. “Being that FGCU is primarily a commuter school, it is beneficial that we utilize this program in order to keep fossil fuels in the ground and money in your wallet. Even if you don’t care about the health of the environment, most people like the idea of saving money.”

Looking at the future of Ride2FGCU, Crawford said, “Truly, my dream is to have so many commuters sharing a ride in five years or less that we don’t have to build the next parking garage, and that the resources saved can be put into other university programs instead.”

For more information, visit Ride2FGCU.com.

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