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Northwestern Partners with Pace to Offer RideShare program

The Pace RideShare program, new for Northwestern employees, offers easy online sign-up and emergency reimbursements to encourage carpooling.

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August 24, 2009 | by Jasmine Rangel
You drive to work every day and the costs of gas and parking are bloating your budget. Pace, the suburban transportation system, may have the solution to your commuting problems.

Northwestern has signed up for a Pace carpooling program with an emergency reimbursement feature that could make it compelling for you to jump on board.

In the event you (or your kids) contract swine flu, your house floods or your carpool’s driver gets a flat tire, the ride-sharing program will cover a taxi or train ride home. The program will only cover $100 of emergency travel a year and won’t kick in if, say, you need to work overtime or you forgot to set a program to record on your TiVo, but it will help in a true crisis.

There is little you need to do to organize the carpool. Once you sign up for the ride share program on the Pace Web site (www.pacerideshare.com), you will get a list of potential carpoolers based on which campus you work on, where you live and what time you leave the house.

Then it’s time for the e-mailing. Put together a suitable group for a carpool from your options and let Pace and Northwestern know.

“We researched different providers, and the Pace RideShare program was the most convenient and had the easiest Web site to use,” said Kaitlin Vernon, transportation alternatives marketing intern in the office of University Services.

Carpooling is a great way to save time and a ton of money on gas, she stressed. “And it’s good for the environment.”

If you have special carpooling needs, like you only want to ride with other Northwestern employees or will only be carpooling three days a week, you can still participate.

To sign up, visit the Pace ride share site and submit a ride share form with Northwestern’s Transportation and Parking Department. Once registered, the carpool group will get a parking pass and, presumably, lighter wallets and cleaner air.