Jack Spiegelman ’18 and Mark Gao ’19 have announced their development of an online RideShare program available exclusively to Skidmore Students. Over the last decade, with surging gasoline and taxicab fare prices, a trip from campus to the Albany Airport is at an all time high. Students are now required to pay upwards of $70 to get themselves to the airport, which is approximately 45 minutes away. With the added expense of airfare and checked luggage, travel costs for students are getting out of hand. It is for this reason that Jack and Mark have created Skidmore RideShare. This online program will allow all students to connect with one another and arrange carpool rides to the airport. While the initial motivation behind the project was to save students a great deal of money, the program will simultaneously cut back on carbon emissions through limiting the number of gas guzzling taxi cabs on the road.
As Skidmore College students themselves, Jack and Mark understand what it means to be on a tight budget. After buying expensive textbooks, early morning coffees, and occasional evening beverages, most students are not left with a great deal of money to spend on travel. Through Skidmore RideShare, students will now be able to easily connect with up to four other students to split the cost of travel. Where the cost of travel to the airport was once around $70, it can now be available to participating students for under $20.
Skidmore RideShare will be hosted online by what is widely considered to be the most visited website by college students: Facebook.com. This extraordinarily popular platform allows for easy access, simple communication, and a level of familiarity that will provide comfort for a slightly more apprehensive participant. After typing “Skidmore RideShare” into the Facebook browser, automatic access into the group is only one click away. As soon as one joins the group they are immediately connected to a database of likeminded students eager to help the environment, and save some money in the process. No more having to waste your time trying to reach out to friends individually. With Skidmore RideShare, a single participant post can be seen by a large mass of Skidmore students, all in an instant.
Through their joint efforts, Jack and Mark do offer a concession to their audience. They understand the difficulty students face in changing a travel routine. In some cases, students have taken a ride to the airport by themselves without using Skidmore RideShare, and may be thinking, “Why start now?” Exactly one year ago when both Jack (a transfer student) and Mark (a first-year student) were faced with the difficult decision of deciding which school they would attend for the next several years of their lives, they ultimately placed their trust in the community of Skidmore College. It is the importance that this community places on togetherness and environmental consciousness that encourages them to believe in the success of a program like Skidmore RideShare.