Gohio Commute offers web-based carpooling to Kent State community; Kent Wired; November 2, 2017

Kent Wired Article by Ashley Purnell and Alex Tinline

Kent State commuters now have an option to make their commute to campus a bit more environmentally friendly. Last week, Kent State University became the first university within AMATS to create a network on Gohio Commute.

Gohio Commute is a unique ride-sharing program that was launched in May 2017. It is a free, web-based program sponsored by AMATS and Kent State's Office of Sustainability.

“It's primarily designed for commuters,” said Melanie Knowles, the manager of sustainability at Kent State. “(Gohio Commute) shows you there are actually people you could ride with. Then once you find someone, you click a link and you email them, and then you can discuss whether it makes sense to try and share (a ride).”

Users can log trips on Gohio Commute’s website to find transportation matches for cars, biking, transit or walking.

Emily Weber, a junior nursing major, said she feels skeptical about the new program. 

“I’m not sure how many people would actually use this because I think people might be nervous to commute with a random person,” Weber said.

Gohio Commute was developed by the same creators as RideAmigos, which according to their website, is the world’s leading commuter mobility hub and transportation demand management platform. RideAmigos is a nationwide platform, while Gohio Commute focuses more on statewide commuting.

One of the main goals of this program for Kent State's campus is to give students, staff and faculty the option of being more environmentally friendly. By carpooling to campus, drivers can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by eliminating the amount of single-occupancy vehicles on the road.

“I think this is a great program, and I think it could go way farther than just commuting to campus,” said Shelby Powell, a junior environmental conversation bio major and president of the Kent State Environmental Society. “It would be cool to even incorporate students carpooling to go home together on the weekends, which could help out a lot.”

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, cars and trucks account for one-fifth of total emissions in the United States, and for every gallon of gas, these vehicles emit around 24 pounds of global-warming gasses into the atmosphere.

“For Kent State, I hope that this provides additional options for students and staff looking to save money or be more active,” said Heather Davis Reidl, the mobility planner at Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study. “I believe that the Kent State community should consider using Gohio Commute in order to share the costs of gas and parking, as well as to reduce emissions.”

The program also encourages biking and walking with others on campus to promote wellness and healthier alternatives to driving.

“Kent State’s campus is so bike and pedestrian-friendly; it only makes sense to look at other options for getting to and around campus,” Reidl said. “The more users that sign up, the greater potential for finding matches.”

Ashley Purnell is the commuters and apartment life reporter. Contact her at apurnel1@kent.edu.

Alex Tinline is the parking and transportation reporter. Contact her at atinline@kent.edu.

POSTED: Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 8:41am