511NY Rideshare Encourages Commuter Students to Look at Sustainable Transportation Options

Christina Bubba, Editor-in-Chief

The benefits of having a green commute with sustainable transportation options go beyond environmental benefits. 511NY Rideshare was at Pace last Monday to discuss both environmental and health benefits of utilizing sustainable transportation options.

People who take the bus or train to work or school are 27% less likely to have high blood pressure, 34% less likely to have diabetes, and 44% less likely to be overweight than people who choose to drive. Those who can walk to work or school have a 27% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 36% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than people who aren’t active during their commute.

Representatives from 511Rideshare were set up in Kessel Well from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to share information on sustainable transportation to commuter students. 511NY Rideshare is funded by the New York State Department of Transportation and is a program and resource for those living in New York to find sustainable transportation options.

“The idea is so there are less cars on the road, less pollution in the air, and to use sustainable transportation options… like to ride the bus,” said Mary Ellen Burns, Program Specialist of Westchester’s Department of Public Works and Transportation.

The high commuter population at Pace could make 511NY Rideshare a vital resource to students. Pace’s shuttle service is another way students can help the university become more environmentally friendly. It is an independent resource for inter-campus transportation that assists in minimizing individual drivers on and around campus.

The shuttle is a free service that takes students between the New York City campus and the Pleasantville campus with no charge Monday through Friday. It can also be used to get into Pleasantville’s Memorial Plaza any day of the week. The shuttle stops at various places around campus including Miller, Willcox, the Townhouses, and North Hall.

511NY Rideshare offers ride-matching services to help people find greener ways of getting around. Their website provides information ranging from park and ride maps, to electric vehicle station locators and has apps such as the Transit Trip Planner and the Trip Tracker mobile app. There is even a way to find people to carpool with by entering your starting and ending address.

The program encourages various transportation options besides singular driving. Health benefits of taking the train, carpooling, and bike riding are stressed; these are the options that are promoted by 511Rideshare.

“511NY Rideshare is sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation,” reads the company’s marketing team’s message to Pace students. “This free service is offered to anyone who lives, works or goes to school in NY State. We are a one-stop-shop for traveler information and provide tools and services to improve daily commutes.”

“We match commuters with others so they can carpool to work or school. We also help people navigate vanpools, public transit, biking or walking routes, and provide real-time traffic information and trip-planning services,” it continues. “511NY Rideshare members who commute sustainably may quality for our Guaranteed Ride Program, giving them $300 annually in Uber, Lyft or taxi rides to leave work in an emergency. They can also take advantage of our Trip Tracker mobile app, available on the iTunes store or Google Play, where they can log their trips and see how much money they save and C02 emissions they reduce by switching to a greener commute.”