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BYU announces new online ridesharing program for students and employees

Now finding a ride home can be done from a laptop or smart phone

The ride board is going digital.

As of April 4, BYU has launched a new partnership with Zimride, an online social network for ridesharing that offers students a more secure way to find rides with other BYU students.

The service will help those looking for a ride find one more efficiently – and without the hassle of walking to the Wilkinson Student Center. Now rides can be arranged from a laptop or smartphone.

“We believe this system will make it more convenient and safe for our students and employees to arrange for ridesharing,” said Brian Evans, Chief Financial Officer and Administrative Vice President at BYU. “We’re pleased to offer Zimride to the BYU community and know it will be a valuable program.”

The service is free and can facilitate both regular carpools and one-time rides to distant locations for members of the BYU community. Students, faculty and staff can access Zimride at: http://zimride.byu.edu 

As a social network platform with optional Facebook integration, Zimride provides access to fellow student profiles and establishes trust among users. Users first create profiles on BYU’s customized Zimride site by including pictures, music preferences and other relevant carpooling information. They can then search for rides posted by others or post their own.

Students will also be able to post a cost per seat in their vehicle (to help cover gas) and use PayPal to manage transactions. Additionally, students can post anonymous feedback and view comments left by other riders or drivers.

Although more than 130 universities and organizations nationwide use Zimride, BYU’s Zimride page will only be accessible to those in the BYU community.

BYU’s Zimride system will be accessible through the Students menu on the BYU homepage and will require authentication through myBYU to ensure members are part of the BYU community. Other security measures include:

  • Social Profiles: Allow users to view optional photos, feedback received and driving preferences of a potential ride-partner (drivers and riders) before agreeing to the ride.
  • Feedback System: Allows users to leave anonymous feedback after sharing a ride and to view feedback when selecting a ride partner.
  • Privacy Controls: Allows the individual users and college administrators to set who can see rides and personal information.
  • Address Protection: Exact addresses are not shown for rides. Instead, nearby crossroads and intersections are used.

Zimride was brought to the attention of BYU administrators through a group of students who had heard of the program. It is the largest social rideshare community in the U.S., with 350,000 users, and is used by universities such as Texas A&M, USC, University of Michigan and Cornell.

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