Four BYU students who don’t know each other get in a car after meeting in a parking lot. They have different majors, backgrounds and interests, but they will spend the next hundred miles together because they have one thing in common: they are going to the same place.
Getting home for the holidays or taking a road trip can be costly for students on a budget and difficult for those who don’t own a car.
But several alternative transportation options are available to carless students. Services like the ride-share network Zimride and rental company Enterprise allow students to get around without constraints.
Zimride replaced the ride board previously located in the basement of the Wilkinson Student Center. Introduced in April 2012, Zimride is a way for students to find rides and for drivers to find riders to help split the cost of gas.
Collin Whitmore, student assistant to the CFO and administrative vice president at BYU, said the program will automatically match people who are looking to go to the same place.
Zimride requires users to have an active BYU net ID to log into the website and to post and see rides, ensuring a safe and secure service.
Eric Morgan, a BYU student from Kuna, Idaho, said he regularly uses Zimride as a way to keep his cost down and has had fun experiences giving rides to others.
Morgan once gave a ride to a girl he had never met before and was surprised to see how trustful she was. “She said ‘hi’ then got in the backseat and went to sleep,” Morgan said. “How does she know that she can trust me?”
Morgan said he doesn’t mind when his riders sleep but was astounded that the girl got in a stranger’s car and slept the whole way to Idaho. He woke her up in Boise to ask where to drop her off.
In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, Zimride is holding a “Thanks4giving Me a Ride Sweepstakes.” Students who post a ride during the sweepstakes period from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 are entered in a drawing to win a $50, $100 or $200 MasterCard gift card from Zimride.
Enterprise’s rental car service is another way for students to get around when they don’t have a car. Some people have the misconception that individuals need to be 25 years or older to rent a car. But with Enterprise, students as young as 18 can rent.
BYU students can get a discount with Enterprise. Students can rent a car at a rate as low as $5 an hour through Dec. 31. Next semester, prices should vary between $8 to $14.75 an hour, depending on the model of the cars, times and days.
Enterprise has four different cars throughout the BYU campus according to Whitmore. Two cars are located by Heritage Halls, a third by the Cannon Center and a fourth by the Museum of Art.
Kelsey Aydelott, a junior studying family life, said she chose to use Enterprise rental services last semester when she went to California to visit her mission with friends.
“I really liked their cheap rates and the convenience of it all,” Aydelott said. “I rented the car for a whole six days, and I am happy with the experience I had. I was able to spend time with my friends and do something I wanted to do for a long time without worrying about having a car of my own.”