The “Florida Southern Carpool Page” is the newest resource for students in search of a long-distance ride.
The page’s goal is specifically for FSC students needing long distance transportation anywhere outside of the Lakeland area.
Megan Riordan made the page because she saw a need for a place to openly post carpool requests.
“I got the idea for this page while at work at the Student Solutions Center,” Riordan said. “I had a number of parents and students calling the office in the weeks approaching the holidays asking if there was a way to get to or from the airport or even just the grocery store. I know other larger schools have successful Carpool pages such as this so I thought FSC could do it too.”
Nick Reinarts believes the group is a great service for students and is a frequent user of the page, he offers to drive anyone to their destination so long as it is on his way home, towards Cocoa, Beach or back to FSC from that direction.
“I think it’s a splendid idea! It’s an excellent and convenient way for students to get rides home, especially for those who lack a car on campus,” Reinarts said.
This offers a safer alternative for students needing a ride, after sites like Lyft and Uber have been under scrutiny due to safety concerns. Hillsborough County issued a cease and desist order to the ride sharing companies in December.
Lyft and Uber have been battling with the county over whether they can legally operate there. The county’s concern is that drivers do not undergo strict background checks before becoming a driver. Hillsborough has been issuing tickets to the companies’ drivers on and off since then.
“I do understand that there is always risk in just being on the road in general, but as far as public safety I see minimal risk because it is very strictly stated that the page is for FSC students only and I personally check every post and requests to join to make sure that it is a student,” Riordan said. “I’ve only see maybe four people who were not allowed access because they were not students. As far as money goes, I think as students we understand we’re all on limited budget and that’s what this page was created for, to avoid high price taxi rides mainly to the airport. Those companies are out to make profit while, for the most part, students are asking for money to cover gas and maybe a small expense to go out of their way if they need to.”
Currently 162 members are on FSC’s growing carpool page. According to Riordan, it got about 20 posts for offers or requests for winter break travels.
“It beats hunting down a ride. It also avoids the awkward ‘well I need gas money’ situation because drivers can just name the price that they need for gas,” Riordan said. “It also promotes community and relieves stress off of busy finals times when the last thing you want to worry about is how you’re getting yourself home.”