NuRide rewards UVA community for green transportation choices

Colleges and universities are at the forefront of experimenting with transportation alternatives to drive and park: car sharing and bike sharing services are popping at campuses all over the US to provide greener transportation alternatives… as well as hold off on parking lot expansions.

All of these services provide convenient alternatives for students, faculty, and staff… but most, like many green practices, largely depend on potential users wanting to do the right thing… that is, make a positive environmental impact with their transportation choices. For many, that’s a reward in and of itself; for others, they’d like to see more concrete, and more immediate, benefits for their actions… especially if they’re paying to use these services.

This dilemma affects all sorts of eco-friendly practices, and a number of companies has sprung up to create rewards beyond the good feeling of helping to save the environment. RecycleBank, for instance, created a points-style reward program for recycling. And NuRide, which has been around since 2004, offers a similar program for making greener transportation choices… from carpooling to biking to using public transportation.

The University of Virginia is the latest institution to connect with NuRide (which offers its services strictly through affiliated organizations). Through a web-based interface, students and other members of the university community can record their greener trips, and even arrange carpooling with other members. According to campus paper The Cavalier, UVA put up $16,000 to bring the service to campus… but believes that NuRide use will not only create environmental benefits, but also address the the number one complaint of almost everyone who studies or works at a college or university: parking.

NuRide offers services in a number of locations around the country (mostly in the Northeast); this was the first I’d heard of it, though. Are you a user? Let us know about your experience with this service…


  • Folding bikes on display at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting.
  • Need a new bike? Check out our current listings of heavy-duty bicycles from Jamis.

Image credit: NuRide