Greater Wellington Launches Ride-share Website

Postby sifter on Wed 13/May/09 8:55am

Nice initiative :thumbsup: =} www.letscarpool.govt.nz

stuff wrote:Council launches ride-share website

If you fancy carpooling but cannot stand death-metal music or strong perfume, a new website will match you with the perfect person to share a ride with.

The Let's Carpool website allows users to set parameters around who they will ride with, such as people who like similar music, people only from their work, or non-smokers.

The gender of companions can be chosen and the website also gives advice about carpooling etiquette. Let's Carpool was launched on Monday by Greater Wellington Regional Council. It is aimed at people in the Wellington region, but can be used by people anywhere in the country.

Regional council chairwoman Fran Wilde said being able to enter preferences for companions would help young people avoid Neil Diamond or old people avoid "the head-banging stuff".

It was ideal for people who lived away from public transport routes. "For them this could be a godsend. The question will be whether people will be prepared to do it. It seems to me it kind of makes sense financially."

The website claims $2550 a year could be saved by carpooling with one other person for 15 kilometres a day.

Greater Wellington sustainable transport planner Ping Sim said that, once registered, people would be sent a list of other users living near them who also wanted to commute to the same area.

"All you have to do is register, enter a few details about where you'd like to start and end your carpooling trip, and all the searching is done for you," she said.

The website had attracted 30 registered carpoolers since Monday but the council hoped to attract 4000 people in the first year. The scheme will be reviewed after 12 months.

The website included advice on safety and features to protect personal information such as users' home addresses.

A police spokesman said people should let others know about their travel plans and who they were travelling with. If anyone had concerns about fellow passengers, they should end the arrangement.

Netsafe executive director Martin Cocker said it was impossible to make any website completely safe, but the council had done well to promote cyber safety.

"It's probably safer to organise a carpool through a site like this than to organise it through a newspaper advert.

"Everybody who leaves anything online leaves a footprint. There will be a trail."

ON THE ROAD

* Pick people who like the same music as you.

* Carpool with people from your office or someone you know.

* Meet face to face with unknown carpoolers in a public place to get to know them.

* Travel with three or more people. You may feel more comfortable and it can be more fun.

CARPOOLING ETIQUETTE:

* Don't be late. It's the main reason why carpooling fails.

* If your plans change, let others know quickly.

* Avoid wearing strong perfume.

* Eating and texting the whole way might annoy your companions.

* Don't make unscheduled detours.

The website is: letscarpool.govt.nz
sifter
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