We need your opinions!
In my role as Part Time Officer for Commuter students, one of my aims this year was to work towards setting up a car sharing system for students. Using this system, students who travel from outside of the city into university would be encouraged to share lifts into uni, saving money on fuel, whilst also doing their bit for the environment by helping to reduce the number of cars on the roads!
Recently, in my role, I was able to attend a meeting alongside some members of staff from the university who work in the Estates department (fairly sure that means they’re in charge of buildings and car parks and things!). This meeting was an opportunity for a company called LiftShare to present to the university about what they would be able to offer if the university decides to work with them. LiftShare are a company who provide a platform to help people plan their best journeys to get to where they need to be (a bit like Google Maps) and encourage them to share these journeys with others going to the same place.
LiftShare are open to the public, but they also provide internal platforms for different companies and institutions – such as hospitals and universities. So if an institution like, let’s say, the University of Derby sign up to it, they create an internal platform for uni people to find others they can potentially travel with. There are two main parts to with LiftShare offer – the platform where people can meet others they could potentially share their journey with, and a route planner that helps people find what the best realistic travel option for the journey they want to make.
This platform to find others you could share your journey with could be super helpful for both drivers and/or passengers as it would allow students to save pennies and do their bit for the environment at the same time on their journeys to study. Once you’ve found a potential car share buddy, you can introduce yourselves, arrange to meet to agree if it will work, and then start sharing your car.
As well as all the other benefits, there is talk of creating some ‘car-pool’ spaces within the campus car park at Ked Road, so this would allow only students who are lift sharing to park in these bays, reducing the costs of parking as well as the time and effort of walking from your current parking spaces. Once you car share through the service, you can validate your journey through the app so that the service and parking attendants etc know you’ve used LiftShare, allowing you to use car pool bays and earn rewards through the app.
I don’t know yet whether this is something the uni will sign up to or pursue further, but I for one think it would be a great thing to get set up and encourage students to use.
It would be great to gather views from other students around this service and how interested or not interested they would be in the university pursuing something like this. If you’ve got any questions or issues you’d like to share feel free to get in touch! My PTO email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rach's role, along with all of the officer positions, is up for re-election. To find out more about how you can step-up and represent the interests of your fellow students go to your Union's Elections page.