Launched spring semester 2011, HCC’s partnership with Zimride, an online matching program to connect potential carpoolers, continues to make a positive impact by reducing HCC community commuting miles. After an inaugural enrollment of 300 students, staff and faculty, the ride-sharing program has quickly grown to over 1,100 subscribed HCC Zimriders. Sharing their Zimride experience below, Sean Nordquist from Plant City campus and Sarrah Conn from the Ybor City campus discuss their success in sharing their daily commute to HCC through the Zimride program.
When Sean first signed up online (http://zimride.hccfl.edu), he didn’t expect to find any carpool matches for his daily commute from St. Petersburg to the Plant City campus. He was surprised when a colleague contacted him through Zimride to arrange a carpool, living only two miles from his home in St. Petersburg. Sean and his future co-rider, Sarrah, agreed through phone and email to share a “trial ride” after discussing some of their riding preferences and determining the most feasible days to share a ride based on their schedules. After a successful trial ride, Sean and Sarrah successfully carpooled for the remainder of the semester, two days a week from St. Petersburg to the Ybor City campus, from where Sean continued his drive solo to Plant City campus.
During a semester of ride-sharing, Sean realized that with minor habit changes, he began saving money on the cost of his commute and making a positive impact on the College’s carbon emissions output. On shared ride days, Sean kept a relatively stable schedule and loosely planned for any emergencies, since he was the committed ride home for Sarrah on the two carpool days scheduled each week. Any unexpected changes to the set time, running late or other contingencies were easily communicated between the riders via text.
Although Sean and Sarrah’s joint schedule have shifted this semester, they continue to search for a carpool match through the Zimride program and remain positive about their experience. This experience serves as just one example of the continued, collective efforts by HCC’s Sustainability community. Join the HCC Zimride community today at: http://zimride.hccfl.edu .
Article Written By: Amber Lee.