Thursday, October 20, 2016

Starting today students, faculty, and staff at the University of Iowa have a new, secure online system to connect commuters who want to consolidate trips using a carpool or van pool.
UI RideShare is a sub-site of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s new Iowa Rideshare system.

The technology connects registrants coming and going to the same location. Bicycle and walking buddies can also be matched using the website. The site also includes a calendar to track activity and a cost savings calculator.

Visit the UI RideShare web page to learn more.

How does the system work?

The system, designed by a company called RideShark, uses state-of-the-art mapping technology to search for possible commute matches. To view the system, users simply input their university login credentials and register to create a profile.

Once you register, your trip profile information is entered into a database that searches for other commuters with similar commute routes and schedules. Registering for a UI RideShare account does not obligate registrants to join a carpool or van pool.

Matches are displayed on an interactive Google map, allowing registrants to email potential matches. UI students will be connected with other students. UI faculty and staff will be connected with other faculty and staff but also have the option to choose to connect with anyone in the DOT’s Iowa Rideshare system.

Since people are just starting to sign up, finding a match might take a little time to build up users in the database, and it’s always changing.

Who does the driving?

In some carpools, each carpool member takes turns driving their own vehicle, while in others there is only one driver. There is no hard and fast rule - it is totally dependent upon the individual circumstances of those in your carpool.

The program is designed to be flexible. You can sign up for options to be a passenger only if you don’t have a vehicle for a carpool. You can also specify which days of the week for you to share a ride. If the first carpool or van pool you choose doesn’t work out, please check back for other options.

The Iowa DOT partnered with University of Iowa Parking and Transportation, as well as other agencies and communities across Iowa when establishing Iowa Rideshare. Many regions and metro areas around Iowa have some sort of ride-sharing program, but this site is the first statewide effort. The service is provided by the Iowa DOT and funded as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative.

University of Iowa Parking and Transportation provides and supports access and mobility for students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors. For more information about our services visit or call (319) 335-1475.

The university makes no representations or endorsements with regard to any individual driver or passenger and does not screen drivers or passengers or conduct background checks with regard to an individual’s driving record or criminal history.  The university only provides this service to help people find others interested in ridesharing.  The service is free and you make the actual arrangements.  Employees and students that utilize this service to provide rides to others, do so in their individual capacities and not as agents or representatives of the university.