Written By: Elizabeth Main
With gas prices currently high and still rising, the UMB Office of Sustainability is featuring UMB staff, faculty, and students who commute to and from campus using sustainable methods in place of driving in a single-occupancy, gas-powered vehicle. If you’ve never thought of taking the MTA or carpooling with a colleague to get to campus, now is a great time to consider these and other sustainable commuting methods!
The first feature in the series is a Q&A with Rebecca Ceraul and Lisa Lebovitz, the assistant dean for communications and marketing and the assistant dean for academic affairs and assessment, respectively, who carpool to and from campus.
Why did you decide to utilize carpooling as your method of commuting?
When campus fully reopened in the summer of 2021, we decided to brave the return to in-person work together. After a while, we realized how much we liked it and that we were only using one of our two paid parking spaces at a time, so we officially applied to the program.
What’s your favorite part about using this method to get to UMB?
The obvious things like saving money and having a commute buddy are great, and it’s good for our mental health being able to decompress together before we get home. We have also learned each other’s taste in music playlists and podcasts, and which routes we each prefer to take to and from work.
What advice do you have for others who may be considering starting carpooling to get to campus?
Try it out informally first, which we did for a couple months to see if schedules would work. Also, UMB only gives one hangtag per carpool; this means we have to meet up after hours or on the weekends to pass the hangtag if our in-office schedule doesn’t align for the week. Be flexible and prepared to compromise work hours on a given day if one person needs to come early or leave late. Have a plan for the financial logistics: how to share the cost of parking and gas.
How did you find each other to coordinate carpooling?
We’ve been friends and colleagues at the School of Pharmacy for over 10 years, and we live 10 minutes apart in Towson/Lutherville area.
Anything else you’d like to share about your commute?
With current gas prices, we are seeing the financial benefits even more now than before!