“Hi, can you give me a lift?”

A new online rideshare program was recently set up for the Metro Detroit area, giving locals an alternative way of getting around. RidePost Detroit, a specialized webpage under the internationally-used RidePost.com, serves as the hub of this hopeful project.

Users would be able to either post their routes online for others to see, or else search for drivers that would be willing to share their car while traveling to a common destination. The idea is that everyone splits the gas costs, making it cheaper and it would lessen the impact on the environment.

Debra Rowe, a professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Oakland Community College in Royal Oak, spearheaded the formation of the Free Ride Sharing Program for Detroiters. She is also an expert on sustainable energies.

“As you know,” Rowe said, “there’s very little mass transit in Detroit.”

She brought up the burgeoning number of automobiles that flow in and out of the city each day, not to mention the issues of parking that many face. She described this system of transportation as “impractical.”

Because of this impracticability, Rowe decided to create an alternative. She worked with the Detroit Green Skills Alliance, an organization that promotes environmental practices throughout the area, to propose the idea of a citywide rideshare program to the city.

Being that Detroit was bankrupt, she said she believed that this program could actually do some good. It was approved. Rowe, along with some of her students, then reached out to one of the creators of RidePost to help set up the website, which he offered to do for free.

“We did the outreach about a year ago,” she said. “We’re just starting the promotions now.”

Rowe hopes that the word will get out about this new program. She emphasized the communal aspect of its practice.

“It connects you with people in your community you may not have known otherwise,” she said.

Commuter schools like Oakland University could also be a popular target for the program.

“I definitely would be interested in it,” Bernadette Ewing, a senior at OU, said.

She said that she once put her name on OU’s Ride Board in the basement of the Oakland Center a few years ago to find a ride partner, but she was never picked up. She thought the RidePost setup was a good idea.

Senior Rachel Kolling was more hesitant to the idea, though.

“For me, I’m just too busy to worry about picking people up,” Kolling said, citing her complex schedule of school and work. However, she said that she could see how it would be beneficial to students without automobiles.

To check out the RidePost Detroit website, go to https://detroit.ridepost.com.