Facebook-Style Carpooling Takes Off at Stanford

University is perfect vehicle for debut of nationwide rollout

Social networking and environmental awareness are all the rage these days, so why not combine the two?

That's just what Stanford is doing with a partnership designed to connect those who need a ride with those offering a ride.

The new BFFs are Zipcar and Zimride.

The university on  Wednesday became the first in the nation to unveil the networking combo.

For $35 a year, members of Zipcar can use one of nearly 20 car stationed throughout the campus. More than 120 campuses across the country already offer the program. Zimride members use their network of friends, classmates and coworkers to find a ride with someone going in the same direction they need to go.

Both services aim to clean up the environment by reducing or even eliminating the need for so many cars.

"With an integrated Zipcar and Zimride solution at Stanford, we hope to see more people choosing to carpool when they need to drive and choosing to live car free the rest of the time." Brodie Hamilton, director of Stanford's Parking and Transportation Services said.

The zippy match means members of Zimride can now see profiles of people looking to hitch a ride before accepting them as passengers.

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Before today's launch, Zimride users could set up commutes online with firends but they would have to rent or borrow a vehicle. That's where Zimride comes in.

Members of Zipcar post their trip on Zimride and members of Zimride who need a vehicle can reserve one via Zipcar. A seemless Facebook application gives the service a familiar platform.

"Given the strong use of Zipcar and the fast-growing base of Zimriders, the Stanford campus is a great place to launch this national effort." Scott Griffith, chief executive officer of Zipcar told Stanford.

Look for this partnership to spread to other campuses in the coming months.

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