Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Over the course of the last year, The University of Iowa Parking and Transportation department has been developing a fresh, updated initiative encouraging those in the community to consider alternate transportation options as part of the ‘Unpark Yourself’ campaign. The Unpark Yourself campaign is rooted in making the transportation of those in our community easier, and more efficient. UI Parking and Transportation is hoping to be more transparent in their efforts to make campus transportation more efficient, and to increase understanding of the alternative transportation services they offer.

In making the choice to ‘Unpark Yourself’ customers save money, save auto repair costs, decrease campus traffic congestion, and help fellow members of your community create a more sustainable campus. While the efforts to create a more sustainable and efficient campus aren’t new, the UI Parking and Transportation department has worked to refresh its efforts, hoping it will continue nudging the community to seek alternatives to driving alone.

With over 30,000 students, and thousands more people on campus, there is congestion on many of the busiest streets, making commutes more difficult and increasingly lengthy. UI Parking and Transportation believes that much of this traffic could be curbed by more people taking advantage of public transportation, biking, and using some of the convenient ridesharing services that are offered by the university. 

The UI Rideshare Network is a flexible option, that uses state of the art technology to help University of Iowa students and staff to find commuting partners that also attend or work at the University of Iowa. The service also allows users to find cycling and walking buddies and can be used to share rides for academic break trips. Not only does ridesharing save you time, but it also saves you what is often a considerable amount of money over time. According to a 2017 study by AAA, the true cost of owning and operating a vehicle is $8,469 a year if driven 15,000 miles per year.

While cost savings are certainly an incentive for consciously trying to unpark yourself, there are various other community-based incentives to think about. The Parking and Transportation Department hopes that things like sustainability and decongestion of campus traffic are also driving forces for students and employees to research and consider those options more often even if it’s just a step at a time.​