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Faculty Sponsor

Mark Reisinger

Abstract

Binghamton University has a parking problem fostered by the car culture adopted by students, which makes cars symbols of independence and status. To alleviate this problem, a carpooling system is identified in this paper as a possible alternative means of transportation. I argue that by analysis and estimation of the potential of carpooling at Binghamton University, the likelihood of success of a system to change car culture from one based on single-occupancy driving to one based on carpooling can be measured. An online survey was sent to undergraduate commuter students to acquire students’ opinions and thoughts. Its 825 responses showed these results: that 80 percent never drive to school for reasons of convenience, accessibility, availability and riding experience; that 68 percent are dissatisfied with parking, while 1 percent report high satisfaction; that carpooling activity is currently low but has high student interest and potential; that 50 percent are comfortable with carpooling, 30 percent are neutral and 20 percent are uncomfortable; and that previous carpooling incentives have been unsuccessful for reasons of non-inventiveness, non-inclusiveness and time consumption. These results show trends in student behavior, student opinions, and student wants and needs, providing the detailed understanding needed to create a successful and effective carpooling system.

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