Wait a minute before you buy your next bus ticket home — your ride might just be a Facebook page away.
As an MU freshman and Chicago native who doesn’t have a car, the trek home for breaks can be tedious. Bus tickets are expensive; they make long stops and they might not fit in conveniently with your schedule. Plane tickets cost even more, making the voyage home costly.
This makes rideshare a great option for anyone looking for a convenient way to get home. It’s often less costly — likely all you’ll have to do is pitch in some money for gas. It’s direct, too, and it’s an interesting way to meet some fellow students.
I found rides home for Thanksgiving break on the Mizzou Rideshare Facebook page. This is a group of around 4,000 people offering and looking for rides. If you make a post, you’ll be directed to people who are driving the same way as you. I found people who were driving to and from the Chicago area, messaged them on Facebook and was ready to go. Overall, it was a convenient way to make the trip, and I feel like I learned some things, too.
Here are some things you might want to know before your first rideshare experience:
Make sure you communicate well with your driver about where you are and know when they plan to pick you up. Also, because this isn’t an Uber, allow for some flexibility in your day. Your driver may or may not show up when they say they will. If you know that timeliness isn’t guaranteed, you’ll be happy with your ride. But of course, some people will show up on time. It’s really all up to chance. I left Missouri later than I anticipated on the Friday of break, but luckily I didn’t have anywhere to be once I got home, so it all worked out.
The people who you ride with might be completely different from you or you might get along with them very well. It’s fun if you can have conversations with your driver, but if you don’t, you can sleep, listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks, do homework or just chill out in the backseat — and since you can download shows and movies on Netflix now, staying entertained is easy. My rides varied. On the way to Chicago, I rode with two others and I mostly hung out in the backseat listening to music. On the ride back, the car had three other people in it and I got to know them.
Rideshare is also a great way to find a last-minute ride. If something goes wrong with your flight, your bus or your original ride bails, it’s likely that you’ll find something on the Facebook page. People post until the hours before they leave, so it’s pretty certain that you’ll find a way to get where you need to go. I found my ride back to Columbia on the day before I needed to leave and it all worked out perfectly.
If you’re not interested in spending an entire day on a bus with an hour-long stop in central Illinois (or whatever other small town you may be going through), or if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for a flight, a rideshare is the way to go. You’re bound to meet someone interesting, and it’s a convenient way to get to where you need to go.
Edited by Brooke Collier | firstname.lastname@example.org