Carpooling app eases parking, decreases FIU’s carbon footprint


A new app for smartphones will help students find rides to school, while providing them access to premium parking on campus and decreasing the university’s carbon footprint by organizing carpools to campus.

The app, RideFlag, allows users to coordinate rides to and from campus with other users who are taking the same route. Once a carpool is conducted within the app, it automatically notifies FIU Parking & Transportation, and a one-day virtual permit is issued for the driver to park in a premium parking space upon arrival to FIU. Drivers with a valid FIU parking permit, such as students or staff, will be allowed to park in carpool spaces across campus, and visitors will be directed to metered parking.

The app allows riders to view photos of the car picking them up, and drivers have the option to show a fee they may want to charge riders to cover gas, etc. It also allows users to rate their overall experience riding and using the app.

RideFlag representatives estimated FIU carpoolers saved an average of 6,962 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere per week in the fall semester.

Added benefits of carpooling include:

  • Freeing up time in a rider’s day, which would’ve otherwise been spent driving, to study or prepare for the day
  • Reducing wear and tear on a car, maintenance fees and gas/toll costs by driving less
  • Reducing cars on the road and parked at FIU, thus easing parking on campus for everyone
  • Reducing costs spent using public transportation
  • Increasing your social circle at FIU

“We are excited about our partnership with RideFlag, which reflects our FIU student-centric focus,” said Thomas Hartley, the executive director of Parking & Transportation. “We continue our efforts on doing our fair share to reduce cars on the road, reduce our carbon footprint and provide an on-demand ride share program as the apex of our priorities.”

After a soft launch last semester, more than 350 people registered to the FIU circle within the app, and more than 130 carpools were coordinated. Popularity is expected to increase in Spring 2017, with Parking & Transportation’s official launch of the app.

To register for RideFlag, download the app from the App Store or Google Play, create a login using your FIU student or faculty/staff email, and join the FIU Circle. Those wishing to register as drivers will need to follow additional steps, including inputting driver’s license and car information, to be approved to drive and qualify for premium parking.

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