AU Facebook group facilitates ride-sharing

AU students stuck without a way back home for the holidays will be able to utilize a new Facebook group that sets up rides among students.

The American University Rideshare Board Facebook group, started by AU student Casey Clark, allows students to find rides home with other students who live in the same general area.

Clark, a sophomore in the School of International Service, said she got the idea from her mom.

“I guess that they used to be a really big thing on college campuses, and last time I went home, she suggested that I check the rideshare board for a ride,” Clark said. “I liked the idea, and since we didn’t actually have a board, I decided to start one.”

Instead of using an actual bulletin board, Clark turned to Facebook.

“I thought it would be much easier and more accessible to do an online version,” she said.

To use the group, students just post a topic on the discussion board with the place they are going or looking to go, along with the date of departure, according to the Facebook page.

Students pitch in for gas, making the trip home much more affordable for the driver.

Kasturi Puntamekar, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she has heard of the group and will probably use it.

“It’s a good way to save money in the city,” Puntamekar said.

Kit Blanke, a freshman in SIS, said she would be unlikely to use the group since she is from Minnesota.

“Ridesharing seems dangerous, but it seems safer through Facebook than using a bulletin board because you know the people are from American because they are in the American network,” she said.

Kathleen Bradway, a freshman in the School of Public Affairs, said she was also concerned about safety, although she thinks the Facebook group is a good idea.

“You don’t really know who is actually giving you a ride and whether they’re a safe driver or not,” she said.

The site is already active and there are already posts about Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, New Jersey, Indiana, Cleveland and West Virginia.

The group currently has 648 members, with hopes of growing, since more members means students have a greater chance of finding a ride home with someone from their area, according to Clark.

Clark is anticipating that use of the group will increase as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach because more people will be going home and the prices of Amtrak and airfare are more expensive at that time. She has not used the board yet, but said she will in the future.

“I am planning on looking for a ride home for Thanksgiving,” she said.

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