I know the thought of riding in cars with strangers can be nerve-racking. Serial killers and horror movies have made the thought somewhat taboo, but is all the fuss really necessary? The nine-hour journey my dad had to make to get home from college was made possible by the kindness of strangers.
When I was procrastinating writing this column as part of my usual, every-other-weekend routine, I asked my friend Forrest what I should write about. Realizing my stress and inability to shake my tinge of writer’s block, he answered without hesitation.
As a resident of Pheasant Run Crossing, he said he was frustrated with waiting at the bus stop watching car after car pass by with no passengers. Why not stop and pick someone up if everyone is going to the same place?
That person at the bus stop with headphones and a backpack could be a threat to humanity — it is entirely possible. I’ve read and watched enough crime drama to allow these suspicions to creep into my mind. Still, my sense of rationality is able to recover from these paranoid fears. I don’t understand why this calm assessment of the danger is not pervasive on campus.
People complain about parking every day. It is the daily excuse of the girl that sits next to me in biology as to why she strolls in 20 minutes late. Although the springtime weather means that biking to school may no longer require pulling out a ski mask, there are still plenty of people driving — and plenty of people driving alone.
Driving to school can put a damper in the gas fund as well. Forrest told me that if someone stopped and gave him a ride he would have no problem giving up a few bucks to help out.
I know it’s unreasonable to think people are so outgoing and open, so I have come up with an idea I think could solve the problem: Apartment complexes or even a computer savvy student could make a website similar to the Virginia Tech Ride Board that would be an outlet for carpooling.
Perhaps roommates have weird schedules. Maybe friends don’t go to class as often as they should. This would not be a problem because students could find someone on the site that would love to share rides. Maybe this driving companion could be more than just a neighbor, perhaps in between stoplights and changing lanes, students might even find new friends.
Carpooling would solve many problems. It would save money, free up those valuable parking spaces, allow this girl in my biology class to get to class on time and let Forrest sleep in a few extra minutes.
There is nothing wrong with the bus. We are lucky to have such accessible public transportation. But if everyone’s going the same place, why not make use of free passenger seats and give fellow Hokies rides?