The Forum as a carpool matchmaker

With Thanksgiving and winter breaks coming up, students might want to — or have to — return to their nests. If getting home requires a drive, consider arranging for carpools in advance. The Forum fills with offers and requests for rides out of Sarasota, particularly around break time. Carpooling saves money, helps the planet and could lead to new friendships.

New College alum Jessica Plante (’06) said she carpools to have company for the ride, have someone split the cost of gas with her and because fewer cars on the road mean “less havoc on the environment.” Sometimes, she’s the passenger, not the driver. “That’s an extra plus — not having to drive,” she said. “Driving is frustrating and I’d rather be be a passenger and read or just relax.”

First-years Fred Carriles and Juliana Musheyev first hung out through carpooling. “New College was holding a decadent desserts event for incoming first years but I couldn’t go because I lived by myself at the time with no mode of transportation,” Carriles explained. As they were friends on Facebook, “[Musheyev] decided we should carpool up to Sarasota from Miami Beach and we really became close and still hang out. During the road trip we got to share our expectations of what New College might be … I guess that whole shared experience of facing New College for the first time sort of bonded us.”

Carriles now has a steady carpool connection with Musheyev. “At the end of the day, we’re students and we’re poor,” he said. “And the fact that you can carpool pretty easily and find someone to take you somewhere in Florida for free or just splitting gas, it’s kind of amazing.”

Those experienced in carpooling suggest giving the dates and times one plans to leave campus when posting an offer or request for a ride on the Forum.

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