» Ridesharing

Nestled within Orange County, California, Chapman University resides in an area infamous for its commuter culture. Nearly 60% of students commute to campus and as a result, the university is plagued with single rider vehicles and parking issues.

Such conditions can no longer be tolerated at Chapman as the parking situation is known to decrease the satisfaction of its 8,305 students, and environmental quality. According to the 2016 Ruffalo Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory, just 28.7% of undergraduate students found the amount of student parking space on campus to be adequate. Additionally, vehicles like those commuting to Chapman are the largest air quality compromisers in the United States, creating one-third of all American air pollution. Ridesharing, or the grouping of travelers into common trips by van or car, is a powerful strategy to resolve these issues. For more information, refer to Chapter 4 of the 2017 Environmental Audit, written by Allison Scavo.

  • Ridesharing needs and incentive awareness
  • Ridesharing Recommendations
  • Ridesharing to campus would reduce the number of vehicles needed by Chapman commuters and thus reduce university carbon emissions, lower traffic congestion, and decrease parking demand. Individually, ridesharing Panthers can save on travel costs, travel time, and commute stress.

    Chapman University has made strides in recent years to combat the strong commuter culture on campus. Campus strategies include subsidized public transportation, Zipcars, carpool permits, and social media platforms. However, current ridesharing programs and their publicity have done little to incentivize students, faculty, and staff to rideshare. Evidence to support this include:

    • Of the 7532 parking permits issued in the 2016/2017 year, just 18 were carpool, less than 0.25% of all permits (see Figure 1).
    • With the exception of 79% of employees knowing of carpool permits, less than half of Panthers are aware of current ridesharing incentives (see Figure 2).

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  • Given that less than half of the Chapman community is aware of most current campus ridesharing incentives, ridesharing programs must be better publicized. When presented with certain incentives offered at Chapman aspirational schools, a majority of students, faculty, and staff would consider ridesharing to campus (see Figure 3). Therefore the university should consider employing these programs to recruit more ridesharers. Other potential strategies to increase ridesharing include:

    • Promote the use of RideMatch, an online ride matching service used to connect commuting riders with drivers.
    • Initiate a vanpool program with OCTA
    • Create a social media-based ridesharing program, similar to the USC-Uber partnership
    • Update the CU Experience app with more advanced ride matching software
    fig_3