5867512923_05b371ddbcContrary to popular belief, Berkeley students do not live in the main stacks, never seeing the sun and only coming out to retrieve the FSM coffee they need to survive in their vampiric lifestyle (Well, not all Berkeley students – some live in Soda Hall). We actually do like to get out and go places. However, sometimes it’s difficult.

Yes, there’s public transit if you don’t have a car, but BART, Muni, Caltrain, Amtrak, AC Transit — they are only so reliable and often take twice as long as driving would. And Zipcar can sure get pricey. If you are cursed blessed enough to have a car in Berkeley, let’s face it: Gas is expensive, and often it would be cheaper to take public transit (Plus, do you really want to give up that parking spot?).

So what’s a Berkeleyan on the go to do? The answer would be ride-share – if that didn’t mean looking or posting on Craigslist and hoping that you don’t get stuck in a car with a psychotic killer.

Finally, the solution we’ve been waiting for has arrived. That is, if you’ve been waiting for a non-sketchy way to ride-share like we at the Clog have been.

This glorious glimmer of hope is something called Zimride, which has its own Berkeley chapter and requires a CalNet ID to log in. We’re pretty enamored with the whole concept, and not just because the name reminds us of Invader Zim. You can create an account and link it to your Facebook, post rides offered and wanted, look at rides to specific destinations, list your car and your regular commute or special travel, say how much gas money you want or are willing to give and even get a seat on the regular Zimride bus to LA for low, low prices. And you can even choose to view or post to only Cal, Cal and Zimride affiliates or all of Zimride. It all seems incredibly legitimate and convenient, whether you drive to San Francisco for work every day, or need a ride to San Diego for Thanksgiving break. Plus, it not only saves your money and time, but it helps the environment (Score!).

The only issue now is that the site is not as busy and bustling as we’d like. It has great potential, but only if people start using it more. This could be the next big thing (since Quidditch) and an invaluable resource for the Berkeley community. So go to the site, create an account, start listing and looking, tell your friends. We know you need gas money for that Thanksgiving trip home, a ride from Davis next weekend or a buddy for your weekly commute to El Cerrito. Besides, the Clog wants to take a vacation and needs a ride to Santa Cruz this weekend. You can come too.

Image source: Lady Madonna under Creative Commons
Zimride [site]

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