5 Alternatives to Bringing a Car to College

Lined up for the Rat Races

The average cost of owning a car is now over $9,000/year. Yet the higher cost for students bringing a car to college is only one many costs that continue to rise on campus. Higher tuition, university fees, student housing, on campus parking, insurance and technology costs keep rising faster than incomes can keep pace.
To offset the rising costs, students and parents alike are searching for ways to cut back in other areas. The first place to look for many smart students and proactive parents is transportation.
With so many advances in transportation + technology, does a student really need to bring a car to campus in 2014?
The answer may surprise you. Many schools are facing budget cuts and in return are looking to reduce the number of cars coming to campus as enrollments increase.
Here are 5 Alternatives to Bringing a Car to College:
1.) Research: Find a school that embraces alternative transportation as an asset rather than an afterthought.
2.) Bike: Whether you bring your own or use a growing number of bike share programs – biking saves more than just money.
3.) Share: Car share services (like ZipCar) and Ride share programs (like RidePost) are becoming standards on campuses across the country. Make sure your school has both, if not – ask for it.
4.) Public Transportation: Find out how close the nearest train station, bus station or airports are. And how accessible are they from campus?
5.) Walk: Even students who bring cars to campus leave them parked over 90% of the time. Make sure that the campus you are looking at is walkable and is safe to do so.
Bonus: Several schools now have a safe ride home program – for when you are studying or otherwise late night and need to get home after dark, but do not want to walk.
Gone are the days of being stuck in your cramped dorm room if you do not bring a car to campus. With a new generation of post-Facebook era students – innovative transportation programs and mobile technology on college campuses allow you to save money on cars even if other college related costs continue to rise.
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5 reasons why teens are not driving, and why colleges must adapt

According to the US DOT and a University of Michigan study, in 2010 only 28% of 16 year olds had their drivers license. This is down from 44% in 1980 – an incredible decline. With more millennials choosing not to drive – a generational shift in transportation is coming, and fast.

Teen Driving

Studies have shown the number of teen drivers continues to fall in the US, while the millennial generation values access to transportation – via technology – over owning a car and driver license. Thanks to new online and mobile ways to connect with friends and others – the need for freedom of a car at age 16 is no longer as important as it once was.

So why are more young people deciding not to own a car and get a drivers license?

A 2013 University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute study shows the top 5 reasons for the recent decline in young driver licensing in the US:

  1. Too busy or not enough time
  2. Owning and Maintaining a vehicle is too expensive
  3. Able to get transportation from others
  4. Prefer to bike or walk
  5. Prefer to use public transportation

With the rise of mainstream technology and communication over the last decade – an entire generation is now coming through college and early careers with a new idea of how spending money and transportation mix. Facing a rising number of students and young residents demanding new transportation options, leading colleges and cities are making it easier to live car free.
No longer does living car free mean being restricted and homebound. Be it bike sharing, car sharing, ridesharing, online classes, remote working or public transit – transportation habits are shifting everywhere.

On college campuses in particular – it is becoming easier to come to campus without buying a car and spending the $9,000+ that it costs on average on car ownership every year. Many college parking and transportation departments, student life coordinators and sustainability directors are wising up to the need for alternative transportation options for the new generation that no longer need to bring cars to campus.

By the end of this decade the need for bringing cars to campus will change and those colleges that adapt will be able to better recruit and retain their students on campus.

For more information on how RidePost helps universities stay ahead, visit RidePost.com/Universities

How members use RidePost

With the holiday travel season ahead – travel is on all of our minds. A big question each year is ‘how to save money on travel’.

At RidePost we are big on traveling and saving money while we do. Whether you are traveling by car, bus, train or plane this holiday – there are ways to save money.

If you are driving: using RidePost you can save you on gas money, toll fees, parking fees and general car upkeep.
If you are looking for transportation: consider RidePost as a low cost way to travel.

Here is a list of ways people are using RidePost today:

Visit RidePost today to find more information.

We found it: the perfect Valentine’s Day gift

Still looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift? If you’re on a budget (and can’t afford to drop $150 on dinner reservations and flowers), look no further.  One of our favorite Valentine gift ideas comes from a RidePost couple who takes a different spin on holiday gifts.

Sometimes the best gifts come from outside the box.

Rather than spend money on an over priced meal, flowers or other Valentine themed day, they instead put their money toward an annual weekend trip to be taken in February. Lucky for them, their birthdays fall in January and February – so rather than gifting a birthday present, they take the occasion to add money into their getaway travel fund. Call it a two-for-one.

Think about the savings this way:

  • Valentine’s Day Dinner – $100
  • Valentine Flowers – $50
  • Two Birthday Presents – $50 x 2 = $100
  • Minimum travel savings = $250

Each year this couple takes a weekend getaway ranging anywhere from a ski or camping trip to a beach getaway to a drive to see a good friend in a different city. The great thing about travel is the power it has to change our perspective on life. Sharing an extra adventure with the one you love this Valentine’s Day can be incredibly rewarding.

Every couple’s relationship is different. At RidePost, we have a passion for traveling and it is an important part of our lives, even on Valentine’s Day. No matter where you go, we hope travel is a part of your memories, too.

2013: The Year of Domestic Travel

I’m still making my 2013 travel list;  I’ll admit, it’s always a bit of a process for me. While we keep working away on RidePost, I have no doubt that time and budget will make 2013 a year of domestic travel. Which – given all the places I have yet to see in my own backyard – is all good with me.

My high level search usually starts with the big travel sources: NY Times & Lonely Planet. Between the two, NY Times gives me the higher-end targets, while Lonely Planet keeps me on budget. Once I’ve decided on the big destination, I can use apps like Roadtrippers to find cool things to do along the way – these guys are the masters of route planning.

So after all this, you can imagine my relief when the NY Times published the year’s 46 Places To Go over the weekend. Here’s what I’m thinking is up for 2013:

Houston, TX  Apparently Texas is turning the corner and it’s no longer about the “big.” Houston is dubbed the state’s cultural and culinary capital…perhaps this city could serve as the launchpad for the Texas Tour I’ve been wanting to take all these years.

Brenner's Steakhouse on Bayou in Houston

Brenner’s Steakhouse on Bayou in Houston

The Adirondacks, NY  I love the idea of camping: just not the actual execution of it all. So now that glamping is popping up on the East Coast (think of a tent, but with a queen size bed and more uppity food over an open fire) – The Adirondacks might be my summer roadtrip.

Glamping in The Adirondacks

Glamping in The Adirondacks

Louisville, KY  Definitely the dark horse of the group, I can’t escape the positive reviews coming in on Louisville. After an amazing weekend in Lexington this past October, I’m eager to continue on my Kentucky tour. I have my sights set on NuLu – think converted warehouses as microbreweries, antique shops and rebooted restaurants.

Bourbons Bistro in New Louisville (NuLu), Kentucky

Bourbons Bistro in New Louisville (NuLu), Kentucky

Washington, DC  I grew up in the DC area (Northern VA, to be more exact) – and couldn’t wait to get away. I never really “got” the city – to me it was always predictable and political. Now, every visit back to the District leaves me confused – is it me that’s changed? or the city itself? Probably a bit of both. Either way, DC is no longer the humdrum political scene of my youth: it’s become a vibrant food and music scene that keeps pulling me back. I have a feeling I’ll be frequenting DC quite a bit this year.

DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood.

DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.

So these appear to be my top destinations for 2013. All budget-friendly, and all very, very ridesharable targets from the Carolinas.

What resources do you use to find your next destinations? And where do you plan to travel in 2013? Let me know in the comments below!

Introducing RidePost Groups

RidePost Groups are designed to give our members a new way to interact with one another within the greater RidePost community. As our community continues to grow, Groups enable you to tailor your ridesharing experiences to your own interests. Groups can be tied to a school, event, team, church, business, organization, or location – the options are endless. The feature is open-ended by design in order to accommodate the many different activities and travels of you and the rest of our unique members.

RidePost Groups

How to join a Group:
1. Login to RidePost using your Facebook credentials.
2. Go to your Profile Page. Select “Edit Profile” in the top right of the page. Scroll down to My Groups.
3. Click “Add a Group” and select your desired Group from the drop down menu.
…if your selected Group requires email confirmation:
4. Fill in your email associated with the Group.
5. We’ll send you an email with a unique URL to confirm your identity. Once you’ve confirmed your email address, you’ll have access to the Group!

How to create a Group:
[Follow Steps 1 & 2 above]
3. Click “Add a Group” and select “Other…” from the drop down menu.
4. Provide your email address and name for your Group. Click “Request a Group.”
5. We’ll follow up regarding your Group request, and work with you to get your Group up and running asap!

Once you’ve joined a Group:
Invite others to join you. You’ll have access to the Group Page via your Profile, where you can see all of the rides posted by your fellow Group members. Plus, the RidePost community will be able to see which Groups you are affiliated with. It’s yet another look into who you are and another way to connect with travelers like you.

Some Examples of Groups:

  • Schools. If you are a current student / faculty member / administrator, you’ll be able to select the school you are currently attending with your school-issued email address. This is how we verify that you are indeed part of that Group. Once you’ve confirmed your email address, you can filter your searches to fellow students, and you’ll have your school officially listed under the My Groups section of your personal RidePost Profile.
  • Events. If you are attending an upcoming concert / sporting event / music festival / art fair / etc…, we invite you to create a Group for that event. We’ll help you find RidePost members that are also planning to attend, increasing your chances of arriving in RidePost fashion. Plus, you’ll meet people of shared interests!
  • Organizations. If you’re part of a service organization, or a running club, or any assortment of a group of people looking to accomplish something together…create a RidePost Group for it! You’ll be able to see where members of your organization are traveling. And even better, you can organize group travel when you all decide it’s time to get a move on.
  • Locations. Live in a particular city? Looking to get away on the weekends? Create a Group for your town/city/village/what have you. You’ll find people that live in your area – thus increasing the odds of catching a ride outta town when you need it. Look at is as a new way to connect with  people in your own backyard.

These are just 4 examples of the many different types of Groups you can create and get the most out of with RidePost. The idea is to better customize RidePost to fit your specific needs.

So, what do you think? We want to know! Email us at hello@ridepost.com and tell us your thoughts. You can also chat with us 24/7 on http://www.RidePost.com if you have any questions or need some help in getting started.

Happy Grouping!
The RidePost Team

It’s No Impact Week at the University of South Carolina!

Our good friends at the University of South Carolina – the SC EcoReps – are putting on quite the event this week. Taking inspiration from the No Impact Man, they’ve created a No Impact Week challenge for students at the University of South Carolina. It’s a really creative way to raise awareness and to get people thinking about one’s day-to-day impact on the planet. Here are the week’s challenges:

Sunday: Consumption. Do not buy any new goods (except for food).
Monday: Trash. Make no trash.
Tuesday: Transportation. Walk, ride your bike, or carpool to get around. 
Wednesday: Food. Enjoy local, seasonal food.
Thursday: Energy. Try to use no energy (at all!).
Friday: Water. Use as little water as you can.
Saturday: Service. Give back to the Earth by volunteering and CELEBRATE! You did it!

Tonight, we’re co-sponsoring Transportation night with Mellow Mushroom pizza and a viewing of No Impact Man. If you’re in the Columbia area, check out the event! It’s at USC’s Green Quad Learning Center at 6pm. Hope to see you there!

Office Space

We are super fortunate at RidePost to be working at The Iron Yard for the summer. Our “office” is pretty much the antithesis of the traditional workplace. No cases of the Mondays here. No suits, either.

The space is huge and filled with light. The walls are a blank canvas (literally): we can write on almost every surface in the building, should the mood strike us. While everyone spends most of the day with their head down cranking out work, if you need to talk to someone you can just give them a shout or walk over and give the old shoulder tap. Our first week has been über productive and we’re looking forward to the coming weeks. Woot!

Nik, Robert, Marty, and Eric busy at work at The Iron Yard. Our friend, the Mustached Stormtrooper, monitors productivity.