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Carpooling in the Greater Toronto
and Hamilton Area:
Smart Commute’s Carpool Zone, a web-based ridematching service
By Cat...
Carpool Zone: How It Works                                                                             ...
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Carpooling in the Greater Toronto and Area: Smart Commute's Carpool Zone, A Web-based Ridematching Service


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Presented by: Catherine Habel, BSC, MES (Planning)
Presented at: Transportation Association of Canada, Toronto, September 2008

Published in: Automotive
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Carpooling in the Greater Toronto and Area: Smart Commute's Carpool Zone, A Web-based Ridematching Service

  1. 1. Carpooling in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area: Smart Commute’s Carpool Zone, a web-based ridematching service By Catherine Habel, Metrolinx, Smart Commute Introduction About Smart Commute Communications and Marketing Results Encouraging carpooling is a strategy for mitigating Smart Commute works with various Activities undertaken to support and promote the Since Carpool Zone launched in 2005 : stakeholders to relieve traffic congestion, Carpool Zone have included: ¨ more than 12,000 commuters have joined traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions improve air quality and health, and reduce ¨ development of a brand ¨ more than 1,200 carpools have formed related to single occupant automobile commuting. Carpooling is a viable alternative to driving alone emissions that cause climate change. ¨ promotional materials ¨ on average, 100 tonnes of GHG emissions are in areas where walking, cycling and transit are ¨ radio PSAs and traffic tags reduced per month less desirable and impractical. Measures to ¨ news releases Smart Commute is made up of a network of local In the latest user satisfaction survey (2007) : encourage carpooling can be implemented quickly ¨ attendance at trade fairs transportation management associations (TMAs) ¨ 89% of respondents were satisfied overall and at relatively little cost. Raising the rate of auto ¨ partnerships resulting in co-promotion of high that implement employer-based transportation occupancy increases highway capacity and occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes with the Ministry ¨ 93% were satisfied with ease of use demand management (TDM) initiatives and one improves the efficiency of the existing of Transportation ¨ 91% were satisfied with privacy protection central office, which in January 2008 joined transportation network. ¨ Carpool Week ¨ 87% would definitely or likely recommend Metrolinx (the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Transportation Authority). Metrolinx supports the ¨ TMA incentives and promotions Carpool Zone to their friends and colleagues. 61 % of Lone Drivers Are Willing to Carpool at Least One Day Per Week network of TMAs and coordinates regional Incentives Carpool Zone is increasingly successful at Carpooling 21 39 7 14 16 3 services and functions such as the Carpool Zone. helping commuters form carpools: ¨ TMAs work with employers to help them Telework 32 20 3 11 27 6 implement preferential carpool parking at ¨ 49% (2007) v. 46% (2006) found matches Public transit 16 33 11 18 18 5 worksites. Preferential parking is often an ¨ 28% (2007) v. 16% (2006) formed a carpool Bicycling 11 16 6 19 45 2 incentive for commuters to choose carpooling. ¨ 24% (2007) v. 14% (2006) started carpooling Walking 10 10 2 14 62 2 with Carpool Zone matches. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Conclusions Definitely willing Probably willing Neither willing nor unwilling Probably not willing ¨ The Carpool Zone has been successful in Definitely not willing Don't know/ No answer facilitating carpool formation and increasing Bringing the Carpool Zone to the GTHA awareness about carpooling in the GTHA. Saving money and improving the environment 1. RFP for an online ridematching service ¨ Future improvements could include new are top reasons for interest in carpooling features as well as more incentives and 3% was issued in 2005 by Smart Commute 4% promotions to continue building a critical mass of 8% 2. Carpool Zone built on a Pathway Save money Credit: Halton Region registrants. Intelligence Inc. ridematching platform Improve environment 39% 9% Don't drive 3. Launched region-wide in November 2005 Car not available 4. Public sign up for free and TMAs recruit Other participating employers Want to use HOV (carpool) lanes 5. Ongoing activities include upgrades, 84% of carpoolers are satisfied with their translation, new development & marketing commutes versus 77% of commuters who 37% drive alone
  2. 2. Carpool Zone: How It Works 5 Five Easy Steps 1. 2. 3. Register and fill out your profile. Enter an address for your home and destination. Search for matching commuters with adjustable 2 ¨ Commuters use the trip creation tool to enter their trip information. ¨ Carpool Zone uses Google maps to display trips. The system is interactive and users can search options. click on maps to choose their location (home and 4. Send matching commuters a suggestion to work), edit their route and lookup nearby carpool carpool. Additional Features lots. 5. Start carpooling! Premium service for employers ¨ Adjustable search options allow commuters to choose their preferences and match according to ¨ private & semi-private matching gender or language. 1 ¨ organization-specific URL ¨ employer logo and group name ¨ customizable homepage text ¨ admin. functions incl. reporting, user 4 ¨ Commuters review their match information to and carpool tracking and user help determine whether they would like to send a ¨ pre-defined destinations carpooling suggestion to other commuters. ¨ customizable waiver ¨ Intelligent Route Matching matches users with other commuters who can be picked up along the Administrator functions: way. ¨ user management ¨ text page editing ¨ on-demand reporting functions: ¨location summary ¨microsurvey responses ¨ After clicking to register, users agree to ¨microsurvey summaries a waiver outlining the ¨publicity summary web site’s terms and ¨report files conditions. ¨ They then complete the profile page. 3 ¨ The system automatically matches commuters who live and work near each other and travel at similar times with accurate pin-point geocoding. ¨ Matches are ranked and scored based on ¨usage summary (by day, week or month) ¨ Message engine: ability to send e-mail Minimal information is messages to participants required to sign up and suitability. ¨ Prize engine: ability to randomly select other information is requested for statistical participants for prizes and promotions purposes only. It is ¨ Translation engine: ability to translate clearly indicated which pages and phrases into multiple fields are private and The Carpool Zone has been translated into languages. which are public. French, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Punjabi. Acknowledgements: Ryan Lanyon, Jacquelyn Hayward-Gulati. Daryl Novak. Robin Chauhan, Julie Sperling and Mark Iogna, for their contributions to developing and maintaining the Carpool Zone. Intelligent Route Matching