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Great green leap forward in campus commuting

By Dave Jones on September 25, 2009 in University News

UC Davis Transportation and Parking Services is putting some get-up-and-“go” into the new academic year, along with some “zip” and “zim.”

The “go” is the goClub (with “go” standing for Green Opportunities), the new name for TAPS’ alternative transportation program, which has been expanded to offer rewards to people who walk and bike.

The “zip” is for Zipcar, a car sharing service that has come to UC Davis; and the “zim” is for Zimride, an online service that connects people for ride sharing.

“With the goClub, and by partnering with Zipcar and Zimride, we are enhancing our alternative transportation options,” said TAPS Director Cliff Contreras, who said the university’s goals are to reduce the number of cars on the road (thereby cutting auto emissions) and reduce the need for more parking spaces on campus.

Mary Maffly, transportation demand and marketing coordinator for TAPS, said "membership in goClub is a commitment to a sustainable commute.”

But Green Opportunities means more than environmental green. There is green as well in the goClub’s incentives and rewards for staff, faculty and students.

Rewards for green commuting include complimentary parking permits, discounted bus and train passes, discounts on bicycle storage lockers, shower and locker facilities for walkers and bicyclists, and options to get you home in an emergency.

On top of all that, goClub members are eligible for prize drawings every other month. A sampling of the prizes: bus and train passes, bicycles and assorted bicycle gear, a train-and-bus trip for two to Yosemite, a one-month membership to the Activities and Recreation Center, two tickets to an athletics event of your choice, lunch coupons and UC Davis apparel.

The old alternative transportation program listed some 1,734 participants: carpoolers and vanpoolers, and bus riders and train riders. All of these people have been automatically enrolled in the goClub.

With the addition of walkers and bicyclists, goClub membership could grow by thousands—especially considering that bicycling accounts for more than 40 percent of campus-related transportation.

But, before they can receive goClub benefits, walkers and bicyclists will need to sign up.

Each goWalk and goBicycle participant (excluding students who live on campus) is eligible to receive a complimentary goClub parking permit—which can be used once a month, up to 12 times a year, say, if rainy weather keeps you from walking or bicycling, or on days when you just have to have your car.

Walkers with goClub membership also receive free membership in the Aggies On the Move walking program.

Carpoolers (two or more people) and vanpool riders also are eligible for complimentary parking permits. Bus and train riders are eligible for discounted passes, as well as complimentary parking permits.

“Our campus alternative transportation programs already keep an estimated 40 million pounds of carbon dioxide out of the environment each year, but there’s huge potential to do better,” Maffly said.

“TAPS created the goClub to broaden the awareness of alternative transportation options and create more incentives for people to choose green.”

As for awareness, TAPS has already put up a series of goClub banners along the path leading to the west entry garage and the TAPS office. And you will no doubt see the goClub tent at various campus fairs.

Maffly said the goClub has the potential of touching thousands of staff, faculty and students.

The key is to get them to choose any of the six goClub options—goWalk, goBike, goCarpool, goVanpool, goBus or goTrain, all of which negate the need to buy an individual parking permit.

Zipcar car sharing

This international company boasts “a convenient, economical and environmentally friendly alternative to owning a car.”

Anyone with a UC Davis e-mail address—including students 18 and up—can sign up for membership. The fee is $35, but, in a special launch promotion, you will get back your $35 as a Zipcar credit.

The rental fee is as little as $8 per hour or $66 per day weekdays, or $9 per hour or $72 per day weekends, for a maximum 180 miles of travel per day (additional fee for additional miles). Fees include gas, insurance and parking (on campus).

You make your rental reservation online, and then you pick up your car from its reserved space on campus. Wave your Zipcard over the reader in the windshield, and, just like that, Zipcar’s wireless technology unlocks the doors. The key is inside, and off you go, anywhere you want to go, for an hour, for a day, even overnight—for as long as your reservation allows.

Zipcar is starting its UC Davis operation with eight vehicles: four are stationed in parking Lot 25 in front of the Activities and Recreation Center, two in Lot 43 next to the Silo and two next to the Mrak Hall circle. More cars will be added as demand grows. Contreras said.

Zipcar's official launch at UC Davis started Sept. 24 and is set to continue today (Sept. 25), 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the ARC. Staff, faculty and studenrs are invited to learn more about Zipcar and sign up for membership.

Zimride ride sharing

All UC Davis staff, faculty and students have free access to this online service that uses a proprietary, route-matching system.

If you desire, you can integrate your Zimride and Facebook accounts, thereby making Zimride a social network for ride sharing.

Zimriders can use Facebook in a couple of ways. You can see which of your friends might also be using Zimride, and you can check the profiles of nonfriends before deciding to share rides with them.

Zimride declares on its Facebook-verified app: “Zimride is a company dedicated to making ride-sharing as easy and safe as possible.”

Vanpool update

Maffly said a new vanpool that originates in Fairfield is looking for a 12th rider. The van is for people work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday on campus or in the city of Davis.

If you are interested in joining, contact Maffly at TAPS, (530) 752-6453 or Provide name and contact information, work schedule and community of residence.

On the Net


Look for the links to Zipcar and Zimride, or go to either site directly:


Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,