New ride-share program starts pilot rides to help on-campus traffic and parking

 In an attempt to help solve the parking issue on campus, Liberty University’s Student Government Association announced a new ride-sharing program, available on the Liberty Today app. 

The “on-demand ride” feature is free of charge for Liberty students. The program is in its infancy, so the program can only take students to a few places, like Snowflex or the gun range, but Page expects the program to add more locations if the testing period goes well. 

The idea for a ride-sharing program started with SGA a few years ago but was difficult to pass because of safety concerns. However, the new initiative has been pushed out by Liberty’s Department of Transportation and utilizes hired drivers and Liberty vehicles. 

Student Body President Jacob Page recently tried out the ride-share program for himself. 

“We actually did it; it’s very easy,” Page said. “It takes like 3 to 4 minutes for them to come pick you up.” 

To grab a ride, students simply sign in to the Liberty Today app and touch the tab on the top left corner. They can scroll down to “on-demand ride” and then select a destination. 

Within a few minutes, a campus car or van will pick the student up and take them to their destination. 

“They even have a bus that takes you downtown,” Page said. “Right now (the program) is sort (of) limited, but if this testing period goes well, I could see it going more places.” 

According to Page, there are a limited number of vehicles available for on-demand rides, and students may be denied their request if there are too many vehicles in use at once. However, Page is confident that programs like this will eventually help diminish the heavy traffic and crowded parking lots on campus. 

“I think it will maybe take away the need for people to drive in the center of campus … and hopefully clear up some spots in the parking lots,” Page said. 

Page said he has been looking to implement some similar programs in trying to cut down on traffic. He mentioned a recent discussion about adding electric scooters to campus. However, nothing has been approved yet. 

“SGA has brought up the parking issue every year since I’ve been here,” Page said. “And the great thing is … the school listened, and now we are actually doing something about it.” 

Perhaps the most appealing feature of the program for students is the price — free. 

Many students who have signed into the app have already grabbed rides to their favorite destinations, like Camp Hydaway. 

“We promote the use of the on-demand ride sharing program as a means for students to get to Hydaway,” Assistant Director of Campus Recreation Lynda Margarita said. “We’ve heard of a few people using it to get to Hydaway, and they have said it’s as easy as calling an Uber or Lyft service.” 

Download the Liberty Today app on the app store and grab a ride.

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