Project: Zimtervention will establish Zimride, an online ridesharing system, as a viable option to single-occupancy vehicle(SOV) trips to and from the UW campus. This will achieve goals of reducing campus-related carbon emissions and promoting sustainable behavior change.
The principle component of the project is to fund a new student position, Campus Rideshare Coordinator (CRC) to:
1) establish a critical mass of UW Zimride users; and
2) integrate UW Zimride into institutions and campus life
The CRC will work with Commuter Services during Spring 2011 and the 2011-2012 academic year, part-time at 10 hrs/week. This will fall under an undergraduate Student Assistant job classification, with hourly wages of $13 and ineligible for additional benefits.
This is the second phase of a graduate student project through the Program on the Environment’s Environmental Management Certificate (EMC). To date, UW Zimride has been introduced on campus with one of the most successful launches in program history, and the EMC students have begun implementation of a strategy for changing SOV behavior,relying on evidence-based principles of community-based social marketing and theories of sustainable behavior change.
Additional work is needed, however, to establish a critical mass of users and integrate Zimride into UW life as a trusted and well-known mode of transportation. As such, the role of the CRC will be to continue to implement and expand upon the community-based social marketing campaign. The CRC will also work to create institutional legacies, such as including Zimride into new student and staff orientation, promoting it for travel during academic breaks, and incorporating it into other Commuter Service programs. In short, the CRC will work to integrate UW Zimride into campus life.
Although working closely with Commuter Services, the CRC is a largely independent and entrepreneurial student position. The CRC is expected to work with and recruit other students as necessary to complete tasks, including active Zimride users. Their work will include a focus on the entire student body, with particular emphasis on students who regularly commute by car, as well as faculty and staff.
The position is envisioned as one that empowers the CRC to learn about the principles of sustainability and implementing behavior change, while developing skills and expertise related to project management, collaboration, outreach, and communications. Their work, as it relates to community-based social marketing, is informed directly from the student-led EMC Team project.
Education & Outreach:
Education and outreach are primary goals, as described in the executive summary, as they relate to raising awareness of UW Zimride and influencing student behavior. This will be based on the marketing strategy developed during the current phases of Project: Zimtervention, described below, which simultaneously markets UW Zimride and provides project
publicity. By the end of winter quarter 2011, this strategy will be updated to reflect lessons learned and new approaches identified.
Determining the barriers and benefits for engaging in a particular behavior is an important step in crafting the particular tactics for a marketing, awareness, and outreach strategy. Zimride has already identified two key barriers to ridesharing: inconvenience, both in terms of finding and scheduling rides; and trust, including personal safety and reliability. As a ridesharing service, Zimride addresses these by providing: an intuitive, easy to use interface that is designed to encourage usage; user ratings and reviews; an exclusive campus-only network; and connections to social media.
This makes promotional and awareness campaigns important, as our focus groups suggest that if potential users are unaware of how Zimride is different from other ridesharing services, they will not be interested. Additionally, because of the unique nature of ridesharing, achieving a critical mass of users is essential for successful behavior change. However, a promotional strategy alone will not lead to behavior change. As such, community-based social marketing and theories of social influence must be incorporated into the promotion of Zimride, and additional tactics employed. We have developed multiple campaigns to influence commuting behavior:
EMAIL CAMPAIGN. Zimride has provided sample emails based on successful campaigns at previous universities, which we have modified for different audiences (such as students and staff/faculty) as well as rideshare barriers and benefits. For example, email messages to club sports groups emphasize the social and convenience benefits of Zimriding, while
messages to parking permit holders emphasize the potential for savings on gas and parking. Campus-wide email is particularly effective in marketing the program, as well as providing project outreach and education.
TABLING & EVENTS CAMPAIGN. Building off of a community-based online campaign, an in-person campaign is also a fundamental component of success in influencing behavior. This will involve tabling at events and locations, with signing people up to Zimride using a laptop. It will also involve a raffle incentive (such as a gas gift card) and promotional
materials (post cards, car decals, etc.). Targeted locations include E1 parking (and other lots, as appropriate), Red Square, and at major sporting or other events.
ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN. Additional promotions include onsite, media, and event advertising, as well as the potential cfor online advertising. Posters, and other materials are less important for promotion than virtual efforts, but they do serve as prompts to remind people about ridesharing and provide outreach and education about sustainable
transportation. Posters in parking garages, for example, may serve as daily prompts for people to consider ridesharing. News media can also be successful in raising general awareness and, if frequent enough, provide behavioral prompts and appeal to social norms.
TESTIMONIAL CAMPAIGN. We recommend the CRC to develop a video and testimonial campaign. This provides outreach about Zimride and the UW’s commitment to sustainability, while helping to change social norms on campus. Zimride has found such testimonial campaigns to be effective in encouraging use. This can also be used for outreach and
educational aspects related to Project: Zimtervention itself.
Explain how the impacts will be measured:
Our project will have quantifiable, commuting behavior impacts from Commuter Services and Zimride.
From Commuter Services data, we will be able to measure and observe trends related to:
Number of carpool permits
Number of daily carpool parking transactions
Number of SOV parking permits
From Zimride administrative tools, the following outcomes can be estimated:
Gallons of Gas Saved
Pounds of CO2 Emissions Saved
Grams of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions Saved
Grams of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Emissions Saved
Pounds of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Emissions Saved
Grams of Particulate Matter (PM) Emissions Saved
Grams of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Emission
These impacts will be measured through Zimride administrative tools, which automatically calculate estimated environmental outcomes. Data collection by Commuter Services, as well as a survey at the end of the project, will measure behavior change and awareness/outreach goals. The impact of Zimride will also be captured in the campus-wide
transportation survey (next scheduled for fall 2012).
In addition to CSF, this information will be reported to Commuter Services.
This funding request is a: Grant
If this is a loan, what is the estimated payback period?:
|Item||Cost per Item||Quantity||Total Cost|
|Publicity & Communication|
|Promotional items (car decal, eg)||$200/qtr||4 qtr||$800|
|Posters/print materials||$150/qtr||4 qtr||$600|
|Personnel & Wages|
|CSF GRAND TOTAL||8,120|
|Source/Description||Amount Requested||Date Requested||Date Received/Announced|
|Ongoing Zimride support and contracted services||$7500||1/2011||Contract arranged by Commuter Services|
|Advertising support from Commuter Services||$1200||1/2011||Approved for CRC use for 2011-2012|
|Task||Timeframe||Estimated Completion Date|
|Prepare position description, post, and interview candidates||3 wks, Winter Qtr 2011||End of Winter Qtr 2011|
|Finalize marketing strategy and recommended work plan||3 wks, Winter Qtr 2011||End of Winter Qtr 2011|
|Project start date (March 28) & first installment: CRC begins||Spring Qtr 2011||Beginning Spring Qtr 2011|
|CRC prepares new student orientation campaign for launch Autumn quarter||Spring Qtr 2011||End of Spring Qtr 2011|
|Video/testimonial campaign||Autumn Qtr 2011||End of Autumn Qtr 2011|
|Thanksgiving/Winter break campaign||2 wks, Autumn Qtr 2011||End of Autumn Qtr 2011|
|Spring break campaign||2 wks, Winter Qtr 2012||End of Winter Qtr 2012|
|Zimride survey, focus groups||1 wk, Spring Qtr 2012||Mid-Spring Qtr 2012|
|Final report, target date for completion, and funds spent (June 8)||Spring Qr 2012||End of Spring Qtr 2012|