In 2009, the Luther College student senate began exploring the possibility of a Rideshare program accessible to students on campus. The goal was to provide a program that allowed students to share rides with other students who were going to the same destination. To make it affordable, the idea was presented to computer science professor Brad Miller. Together with Luther student Kevin Williams, Miller developed an online program in which to coordinate rides via the website www.rideshare.luther.edu.
The Rideshare computer program is user-friendly, allowing the user to search the address, city or state that is their destination. After entering this information and beginning and ending dates of the trip, it will display the rides that match the given requests. The website also allows people to register who are willing to drive, which matches them with students who need rides.
Folks outside the Luther community have recognized the success and accessibility of this program in the past year. Jen Abraham, sustainability coordinator at Graceland University, started exploring in depth Luther's sustainability programs that she could implement at Graceland. She had originally been interested in the Green Room Certification program, but developed an interest in the Rideshare program while talking to Dan Bellrichard, sustainability coordinator, about the internally developed website. From that conversation on, the rest is history.
Nathan Haines, senior computer science student, recently had a phone conference with Graceland University to help their information services department implement their own Rideshare program. He has been working on the program for the past two years and presented the Rideshare program at the AASHE conference this fall.
The ability for Luther College to extend its Rideshare computer program to other schools allows the college to be a model and leader in sustainability.
The Luther-built program at Graceland was pronounced up and running the weekend of Dec. 1, 2012.