BC RideMatch offers incentives to carpoolers

BC RideMatch is a coordinating website that helps students, faculty and staff get in touch with others in their area looking to carpool to campus. The site can help organize carpools, vanpools and group bike rides. The group bike rides, which are less common than the former options, are something the Office of Sustainability is really trying to push this quarter, as told by Craig Hauser, transportation coordinator.

BC RideMatch, which branches off from Metro’s own RideMatch, seeks to help move our community to a sustainable future by decreasing the amount of cars on the road and lowering our carbon emissions. By carpooling, participants can also save money on gas by splitting the cost, meet and network with new people, and potentially win prizes. The Office of Sustainability also offers cash incentives. “It’s really easy to win these,” Hauser said, “because we give out a bunch of them every month.”

Participants all have a chance to receive win $25 multiple times throughout each quarter. The first 25 people who successfully log and follow through with a carpool trip this summer quarter will receive $25. Each month, there is another chance for five carpoolers to win $25 by tracking their trips on the BC RideMatch website. Hauser described that monthly drawing as “the gift that keeps on giving.” One that isn’t listed on the BC RideMatch “New Prizes” info slip is that “if you create a new account and log your first trip, you will automatically be entered into a monthly drawing of $25,” he explained.

BC RideMatch offers a perk to its consistent carpoolers: carpools with three people get free [reserved] parking spaces in the garage. The carpoolers are to go into the public safety building (K) and confirm that they are a consistent carpool group, and will in turn have access to “prime parking in the parking garage,” as described by Hauser. Security then monitors whether the carpool car actually carries carpoolers. Anyone who violates this is subject to a monetary fine.
“It’s a common courtesy thing when it comes to payment,” Hauser explained. “Riders figure it out when they get into a ride match.” The ride matches are coordinated by matching the information about where people are coming from and their destinations. Matched carpoolers can talk with each other prior to meeting.

Hauser shared that there are people using RideMatch all over the place. He lives in North Bend and found someone pleasant to carpool with; “It was actually pretty easy.” “You don’t have to [carpool] with only Bellevue College students,” Hauser said. “You can choose an option that expands it to all the RideMatch [users for all over the state].” He continued to say that a person could end up carpooling with someone from “Microsoft, or something like that, and they can just drop you off and pick you back up at Bellevue College.”

Hauser encouraged BC to check out the Office of Sustainability’s website: http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/sustainability/ as well as their Facebook page. “They can check our school’s carbon footprint, and how much [energy] we’re getting from the solar panels that we installed.”