Zimride Was Here

Zimride has been getting around. We are now the go-to rideshare solution for over 120 universities, schools, corporations, and municipalities. We have over 100,000,000 shared Zimride miles thanks to all the Zimriders across the country! And now, a little piece of Zimride has made it to one of the most remote regions in the world: the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.

This blue Zimride sticker arrived at the sign on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro thanks to Curtis, our Zimride Account Manager. Now the sticker will remain on this mountain 19,341 feet high to remind other travelers that Zimride has made it here because we are determined to make travelling more affordable, enjoyable, and accessible to everyone, and we will conquer every mountain that stands in our way until we get there.

Thank you Curtis for giving Zimride a ride back home to Africa, where it was first realized by founder Logan in Zimbabwe. Your ambitious and adventurous spirit inspires us to keep trekking farther then we ever imagined we could go.

And thank you Africa, for giving Logan the inspiration to create Zimride in the first place.  You have shown us that the solution to limited resources is sharing, and that sharing with your neighbor improves the lives of everyone in your community. We promise to honor our place at the top of your highest mountain by continuing to make lives better by sharing the ride.

– Your Zimride Crew

Spend or Share: The Rise in Collaborative Consumption

After having read Rachel Botsmans book titled “What’s Mine Is Yours,” I started looking into the idea and philosophies behind collaborative consumption. Yes, I’m an avid couch surfer, I’m a Zipcar member, and I even occasionally use TaskRabbit but I still wasn’t seeing the bigger movement happening around me. It hit me shortly after when talking with my colleagues in the Zimride office that I was in the midst of a huge movement. A movement to share and collaborate instead of consuming and wasting. Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s the climate change. Who knows… but I do know one thing. People’s mindsets are embracing the idea of collaborative consumption and change is coming. Fast.

Since the times of hyper-consumption, economics have changed and people’s mindset’s have progressed. What used to be regarded as an indication of higher social standing, now dimly sits behind the new trend of being wisely economical. Status and happiness no longer arise from owning an abundance of material goods. It now comes from connecting and collaborating with those around you to share common goals and common goods.

The value in sharing goods and services has become so important in boosting individual’s moods, creating support networks, and savings households big money that companies have begun to pop up to specifically accomodate these nationwide priorities. Investors are seeing, understanding and appreciating the value these companies offer which explains why many of these companies have also received big funding. Taskrabbit (hire someone to do tasks), Ubercab (immediate car service), Airbnb (rent personal home space), and Zipcar (carshare) are just a few of the highly succuessful companies whom have focused their niche around the idea of collaborative consumption. Why lose sleep and increase stress over completing low priority tasks when you can easily utilize other people’s down time and hire them to compelte the task for you? Why stay in a quiet and generic hotel room when you can utilize someone’s free space in their cozy home? Why drive independantly from others going the same direction when you could share the ride, share the costs, and share the conversations?  Better yet, why not share the car and the ride?

Gone are the days of hyper consumption where consumers purchased one new piece of clothing every 5.5 days, where we quickly succumbed to the over 3,000 advertising messages we see per day, and where we indirectly supported having more malls in America than schools. Consumers now days are savvy, economical and collaborative. Why? Because saving money, space, and time will never go out of style.

Rachel Botsman's Chart on Collaborative Consumption

Rachel Botsman's Chart on Collaborative Consumption

Commuter Challenge at Zimride!

As adults, we might document things like what we eat, our exercise, budgets and maybe an important lesson we learned throughout the day.  And heck, we might still write about the crush we have on the person at the coffee shop down the street.

But what about keeping track on how we commute everyday?

Well, people at two Zimride communities are doing just that.   Community members at George Mason University and at University of Maryland are going head-to-head in the first ever Zimride Commuter Challenge.  Starting September 22nd, they will be off to the races!  Ahem, no pun intended.

Zimriders can form and join teams, recruit others to join the Zimride community (because life is always better when you share the ride), and track how many miles they carpool.  By imputing a few more facts and stats, each individual can also see how much CO2 they offset by ridesharing.

The winner is determined on October 22nd by three factors: the number of people who use the commute calendar (aka, Commuter Diary), the number of new Zimride users gained and the total amount of CO2 reduced.

What will the winner win, you ask?  A VERY fancy trophy.  Something along the lines of what you see at the right, but we have recruited a trophy designer that is working on it.  Yeah, we know your jealous.

If you want to hear more about how to get a Commuter Challenge at your school, email us at community@zimride.com.

Xanax or Ridesharing – Both Mitigate Life Stressors

Millions of people each day turn to books, yoga, prescription meds, and other tools to de-stress their lives, but maybe they should rideshare instead. After scouring research into commuting and stress, the paper “Mitigating the Stress of Commuting to Work: Ridesharing and the Interactional Effects of Gender” by Novaco and Sandeen point out that “ridesharing has some stress mitigating effects…” (Novaco 1992) Ridesharers included participants that either commuted via carpool or vanpool.

This report yielded many insights including gender differences and the differences between rideshare drivers, rideshare passengers and solo drivers. There’s some evidence that ridesharers get some great benefits vs. solo car drivers. For example, mean arterial pressure for solo male drivers was 95.9 vs. male rideshare passengers reading of 87.6.

From an employer’s perspective, the job involvement scores were clearly much higher for all ridesharers. See the graph below:

An added bonus to rideshare employees is that they are more accurate in some work tasks. For example, this study conducted a proofreading test and found that both rideshare drivers and passengers were more accurate than solo drivers.

While not all metrics pointed out that rideshare drivers were better off than solo drivers, rideshare passengers seemed to almost always show clear benefits. From now on, I’ve decided that ridesharing is a clear benefit to me and my fellow employees, and I might just volunteer to drive one day to get all the great benefits for 4 other days of the week.

Novaco, R. and Sandeen, B. (1992). Mitigating the Stress of Commuting to Work: Ridesharing and the Interactional Effects of Gender.