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Don't Go Solo, GoLoco: UNH to Promote New Ride-Sharing Service

April 23, 2008

Need to get to the grocery store this weekend? Want to carpool with a coworker to save gas money and emissions? Or just wondering if your friends are going anywhere exciting today?

Wherever you’re going, don’t go solo–GoLoco. UNH recently joined forces with the ridesharing service to improve the access and visibility of carpooling on campus. GoLoco complements the university’s growing menu of transportation options, including WildCat Transit, Campus Connector, the Amtrak Downeaster, and Cat Cycles.

GoLoco works by integrating ride-sharing features with social networking software. Simply log-on to GoLoco.org or add the GoLoco application to your FaceBook profile and then post a trip as either a driver or passenger. You can even browse rides without creating a full GoLoco profile. Trips can be restricted so that they are only visible to your friends, to a group you belong to, or to anyone at UNH.

“With our former ride-board system, people had to go register on the service. By using software that works with FaceBook, we’re taking the service to where the students, and increasing numbers of faculty and staff, already are,” says Brett Gangon, coordinator at Commuter Student Services, which worked with University Transportation Services, Campus Planning, and the University Office of Sustainability to bring GoLoco to UNH.

“We’re still finalizing all the details, but we plan to start promoting GoLoco by the fall,” says Dirk Timmons, director of University Transportation Services. “In the meantime, anyone can start using the service.”

GoLoco will help reduce campus traffic, parking burdens, and emissions by improving the carpooling rate.

“Greenhouse gas emissions from faculty, staff, and students who drive to campus make up about 10 to15 percent of UNH’s total carbon footprint,” says Brett Pasinella, coordinator of the Climate Education Initiative at the Office of Sustainability. “Anything we can do to help people move out of single occupancy vehicles will be a big step towards helping UNH meet its goals under the American College and University President Climate Commitment.”

UNH takes a holistic approach to transportation demand management as part of its commitment to being a climate protection campus. Initiatives include expanded free transit services, increased on-campus housing, development of improved transit and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure, support of the Amtrak Downeaster regional rail service, and ongoing educational and information programs aimed at providing expanded mobility without private vehicle use.

The university boasts the state’s largest public transit system and is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation “Best Workplace for Commuters.” Learn more at www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/climate_ed/transportation.html.

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