Transportation showcase displays alternatives


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Will Patterson

Students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha walk and drive past a plethora of environmentally friendly transportation options every day—many not even aware of the opportunities they’re missing. This past Earth Week, UNO held a transportation showcase to inform students of the wide variety of transportation services available to them on campus and across all of Omaha.

Zipcars on campus are just one of the ways to get around Omaha without owning a car. Located in the parking lots in front of the HPER building on the Dodge campus and Mammel Hall on the Pacific campus, these cars can be driven by anyone with a Ripcord.

“You just swipe your Zipcar card over the windshield, the car unlocks and you’re good to go,” said Molly Pavlik, a Zipcar representative at the showcase.

Pavlik went on to explain the quick process of obtaining a Zipcard. Students of the University of Nebraska at Omaha are able to use to sign up for their own Zipcard at a discounted price. After obtaining the physical card, sometimes within as little as a day, students are able to begin using the Zipcars immediately at a low hourly rate.

Similar to the Zipcar system is Heartland B-Cycle. Scattered throughout the Omaha and Council Bluffs region are a series of a B-stations stocked with bicycles. These are available for use by those in possession of a pass, available through purchase online or at the stations themselves.

Heartland B-Cycle promotes an environmentally safe and healthy mode of transportation to get across Omaha. The addition of another two B-stations along with around twenty more bicycles later this year makes the goals of this Earth Week even more accessible.

Public transit is yet another opportunity for students at UNO, and the people of Omaha, to help cut down on their contribution to air pollution.

Metro Transit, Omaha’s mass transportation provider, was another contributor at the showcase. With a stand promoting their services, Metro representatives provided information to attendees about the bus services that keep Omaha mobile.

“You just swipe your Mavcard when you get on the bus,” said Evan Shweitz, a Metro Transit representative and UNO student, “The fare’s already been paid through UNO’s Mavride program.”

Prior to Jan. 2 of this year, Mavride required students to acquire a bus pass from Student Government, the student organization responsible for giving UNO student’s the opportunity to ride Omaha buses free of charge. Now, as the Metro representatives explained, the system has been simplified to only the use of one’s Mavcard to make us-ing Metro’s transportation system more convenient for students.

Available for those interested in using sustainable transportation, or those already in the habit, is the option to register for UNO’s Emergency Ride Home (ERH) service. ERH offers registered commuters that work or attend classes at UNO a taxi ride to a location within 30 miles of campus up to four times a year.

Emergency Ride Home is in place to encourage students, faculty, and staff to use environmentally friendly methods of transportation while alleviating the risks that come along with it.

Those interested in registering for ERH may download the registration form from the UNO website and submit it to parking services.