The Ride Sharing Program

BAI, Site
Dual Degree Program,
BEng in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management and
BBA in General Business Management (IEGBM)

The idea of the Ride Sharing Program came to me a year ago. A UST resident and I were talking about the lengthy queues for public transport from campus; often, students are frustrated by the long wait for buses leaving UST, especially during peak hours, while professors and staff drive nearly empty cars out of campus each day. Then it dawned on us – what if UST drivers opened up their rides to other community members? This would alleviate the high demand for public transport while reducing the amount of energy consumed by private cars, making our community more sustainable.

The Ride Sharing Program_HKUST Student Bai Site_photo

Drivers picking up students

To make this happen, I, together with several other students and residents, worked closely with HSEO and the UST sustainability unit. We spent months discussing the logistics of the program, the platforms available to us, and promotion plans. We were very fortunate to have secured the support of the 1-HKUST award, which gave us more resources to implement the program.

The program officially launched on April 25, 2014. Eleven drivers and 83 students (and staff taking public transport) registered to participate.

We encountered some difficulties at the onset. In particular, communication between drivers and passengers proved to be a challenge. Sometimes passengers would miss messages posted by the drivers; other times drivers and passengers could not find a mutually suitable departure time. This made it hard to match drivers with passengers, and these concerns prevented more potential drivers from joining the program. To overcome this, our group is currently designing a mobile app for the Ride Sharing Program. This is expected to greatly reduce the time and effort needed to match drivers and passengers.

The Ride Sharing Program_HKUST Pick-up Station to Choi Hung_photo

Pick-up station to Choi Hung

We are confident that this project will continue to gain traction, and we have received encouraging feedback from many UST community members so far. Our hope is that, with better tools and system design, the program will attract more drivers and passengers in the coming academic year. Let’s share our rides and make UST a greener and better community!