Portland promotes ridesharing
- By Brian Robinson
- Jun 01, 2001
Portland, Ore., is developing a Web site that will be one of the first in
the nation to offer a fully automated system for organizing local carpools
and vanpools. The intent is to save 160 million vehicle miles, equivalent
to 70,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, across the planned 10-year
period of the program.
Tentatively called CarpoolMatchNW.org, the site will be beta tested
during the summer with the participation of about 20 government agencies
and nonprofit organizations, before an expected formal opening as a free
site Sept. 1.
"Our mission is to get people to do anything other than drive," said
Cynthia Thompson, manager of Portland's new Transportation Options Division.
"But, typically, when people have wanted to carpool or vanpool, they've
only done it for longer trips, and have had to sign in to several different
databases to organize them."
The Web site will hopefully attract more people to carpooling by making
trips easier to arrange, she said, as well as making shorter shared trips
People will be tracked when they sign on for the service, as well as
through regular surveys. There will also be built-in calculators on the
Web site, so people can see both the daily and cumulative emissions- and
fuel-savings from the program.
Thompson said there is already a lot of interest to expand this to a
statewide program, as well as to make it available also for people who might
want to plan alternative trips by bike and other forms of transportation.
RTSe USA Inc., Redmond, Wash., developed the software for the site.
The initial $120,000 for building the site was provided by a grant from
The Climate Trust, a Portland-based nonprofit organization that funds projects
that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.