The concept of sharing rides to work or school has been around for a while. Many businesses and institutions have adopted their own models for carpooling, which have resulted in a whole host of perks: minimised CO2 emissions, improved productivity, increased retention, and reduced parking demand. The latter is perhaps one of the biggest boons to colleges and Universities, whose student populations can number in the tens of thousands.
In a survey of University students, about 85% of respondents said they would be willing to participate in a school carpooling program. Some universities are recognising the opportunity this willingness presents, implementing their own carpooling initiatives as a result.
College rideshare benefits grew big at University of Monash
Monash is Australia’s largest university, set in a suburban zone. Many staff and students commute from outside towns, and given the lack of efficient Public Transport connections en route, driving is typically the choice way for most to get to campus.
Yet, the university lacked enough parking spaces to meet the staggering demand. It had been reported that students were spending as long as 40 minutes looking for parking spaces once arriving at school.
In July 2019, the University of Monash rolled out a new carpooling program powered by Liftango. The aim of the program was to consolidate commuter trips, thereby reducing the number of needed parking spots.
To incentivise uptake, Monash offered free parking for all who used the Liftango program. This was a welcome benefit, as the school’s parking permits typically cost over A$400—a big expense for those on a typical student budget.
Monash also enhanced its program with smart parking integrations, which has made it easy for the college’s carpoolers to receive their free parking perks. Working in conjunction with the PayByPhone App, all registered Liftango rides are automatically approved for no-cost parking.
These moves paid off greatly. Monash has obtained the greatest user uptake of all Liftango’s clients thus far, reaching the largest number of users six times faster than the closest client. Such performance is a direct result of the smart parking integration and discounted parking components of their custom carpooling program.
Smart, user-centric features are the key to successful programs
The University of Monash has enjoyed a strong debut for its carpooling program because it has been designed to meet the needs and preferences of its users. Most of these come pre-built into the design of the Liftango software and app.
Ease of use
We have seamless parking integrations, so universities with LPR and payment modules can link up their systems with just one-touch. Additionally, our 3-tier approach to shared mobility (carpool, parking integrations, and on-demand buses) allow for flexible programs that can be tailored to the demands of students and staff.
At the user’s end, a simple and intuitive App design allows them to easily match with other carpoolers and plan their trips without fuss.
Carpool programs have long-term success when they’re able to adjust and adapt to the way people are using them. This, however, requires access to real data.
The Liftango platform has built in analytics that track the most important stats regarding a transport program’s usage and performance. With this data on hand, universities have the information they need to make educated decisions about how they can better accommodate their carpoolers and keep engagement high.
Students are often under pressure to stick to a strict budget while they’re in school. This makes affordability a must-have quality for any college rideshare initiative.
While there are many cost-sharing models in place for carpooling programs, Liftango’s point of difference is that we don't charge users. Universities can build upon this in the same way Monash did—by eliminating parking fees for those who participate. Reducing cost barriers to uptake will convert many new users and ensure that the program is an option all students can afford.
Customised and private
Institutions that partner with Liftango are able to receive a custom white-label design for their carpooling platform’s App. In addition, Liftango’s use of private networks enables matching exclusively between students and staff, creating a trusted environment for all commuters.
This is a significant point, as the aforementioned study found that students place a high degree of confidence in the security of carpooling programs managed by their universities: 89% say it’s important to them that the carpooling platform is specific to their college. They also report a high preference to travel with people they already know.
Take the Administration Out of Campus Carpooling
As universities move into the 21st century, many are starting to adopt more advanced and efficient ways of managing their internal systems and programs. In this landscape, there’s no place for the old method of managing the campus parking problem by issuing paper permits.
Liftango takes the administration out of carpooling by eliminating outdated paperwork. Instead, it offers a cutting-edge, adaptable system that can be handled without requiring any internal or physical framework. This not only saves money for universities on implementation, it also saves time. Liftango’s App-based platform is immediately accessible to users, enabling campuses to enjoy the benefits of ridesharing right away.
Given all these perks, it’s easy to understand why carpooling is becoming the go-to solution for universities with transportation and parking challenges. Through smart tech and a modern approach, carpool programs enable today’s colleges to not only address their problems, but to create a more cohesive university environment, where students are connected and thriving.