Shennel Sanyaolu//Contributing Writer
The Department of Parking and Transportation held two events in the GC Pit on Sept. 19 and Sept. 20, showing off their new Uber-like application for students and promoting the new mode of “luxury” travel FIU has to offer.
The Ride Flag is an application students can use on their smartphone to get rides with other students to and from campus, and to places off-campus as well.
Students who want to head to the beach can ride with other students using the app, according to Thomas R. Hartley, the executive director of Parking and Transportation.
“RideFlag is like an Uber or a Lyft,” said Hartley. “We’re trying to do our fair share to reduce the carbon footprint production. It’s really a sustainable initiative.”
Students can opt to participate by the environmental benefits carpooling has to offer, and the monetary benefits as well. The driver sets a rate for the students, said Hartley.
The Department of Parking and Transportation also introduced Red Coach buses to the University. The buses began departing daily for the first time on Sept.19, and are available to FIU students and faculty at a discounted price.
Students can ride this bus to stops at multiple locations across Florida including: Miami International Airport, Gainesville (University of Florida), Tallahassee (Florida State University) and Orlando.
Students also can receive discounts when riding between the Modesto Maidique campus and The Biscayne Bay Campus, on the Golden Panther Express.
After 16 trips – or 8 round trips— within a month, students automatically receive a “sweet sixteen discount” of 16 percent. Some students say that they would prefer not to pay at all.
“I don’t think that FIU should charge students, whether BBC or MMC students, for transportation, because we pay transportation fees in our tuition,” said Manouchka Fleurnoid, a biology major. “Also, I think that the bus should run on the weekend.”
Some students agree, although they are satisfied with the transportation we have already, they would like access to more areas and a longer schedule.
“Every 30 minutes is pretty recurrent, so it’s easy to catch a bus if you miss one, it comes in handy,” said Eric Foster, a sports and fitness major. “Just the other day I took the bus from North Campus to South Campus and I had a meeting to be at by eight o’clock, and as soon as I got off the bus, the Panther Mover was just sitting by PC and I asked him ‘what time do you leave?’, and he said now. I had like five minutes and I got there in time.”
But we should have transportation to go downtown, said Foster, “and of course some people want to go to South Campus on the weekends.”
FIU being in a fast-growing metropolitan area, other students agreed they would like to have that convenience.
This year, you can expect to see various technologies around campus that attempt to make existing transportation more convenient for students.
They include kiosks, at the bus pick-up, that show the location of the bus or shuttle you’re expecting. This feature is already available to students on the TransLoc app, but this is another way students can have access to transportation information at FIU, in addition to the comprehensive car count system for the garages that allow you to know how many spots are left open in the garages before you enter.