A Drive to Carpool

Two Rady alumni have launched a campaign called Fill the Car in an effort to encourage UCSD commuters to carpool to campus

The difficulty of finding a parking spot on campus may be UCSD students’ single biggest collective complaint. In hopes of improving the parking shortage — and promoting environmental sustainability — two graduates of UCSD’s Rady School of Management, Drew Beal and Mike Taylor, have launched a car-sharing campaign this quarter called Fill the Car.

Fill the Car aims to encourage students to carpool to school and decrease the total number of vehicles coming to campus each day. The campaign officially begins today and will run through Mar. 16.

Students can participate in the campaign by taking a photo of their carpool group of two or more individuals going to school and entering raffles by submitting a maximum of one photo per day to FilltheCar.com. Fill the Car will hold 10 raffles, one every week. Each winner, selected at random, will win a free auto detailing from Mossy Toyota, a San Diego-area car dealership, valued at $200. Additionally, at the end, one grand-prize winner will receive an Apple iPad and an auto detailing from Mossy Toyota, valued at $600.

But Fill the Car may provide additional incentives for students to carpool.

“We’re working with some companies in the community to provide free stuff, whether it’s free oil changes, discounts at an auto store or free parking on campus,” Beal said. “There will be random times where we will catch people carpooling to campus with a group of three or more, and we’ll reward them.”

Fill the Car is modeled after last spring’s Kill the Cup campaign, a social venture that Beal and Taylor headed to promote the use of reusable cups when purchasing coffee on campus.

While some may think that adding more parking spots would solve the parking issue on campus, Beal feels that this may not be the best solution. According to Beal, in addition to the high costs of building parking structures, maintenance for these buildings can cost up to $20,000 per spot.

Beal said that the goal of the campaign is to significantly decrease the number of single occupancy vehicles and to increase the average number of people per carpool at UCSD.

This Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fill the Car will be hosting a kickoff event in the courtyard between Peet’s Coffee & Tea and the Rady School of Management.