– Drivers, passengers urged to link up online

North Shore Outlook

By Jeff Nagel

Time for ride share!

Commuters are being urged to try car-pooling by registering in TransLink’s online ride-matching website.

The ride-sharing site, www.ride-share.com, matches willing drivers with passengers who take similar routes at similar times.

TransLink CEO Tom Prendergast said car pooling offers an important avenue to try to reduce congestion, particularly on the eve of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“We need to find other ways of getting around, besides the one-person-one-car scenario,” he said.

“Space on buses and SkyTrain is at a premium already and we at TransLink have a mandate to help people find as many creative alternatives as possible.”

The ride-share.com database pairs up compatible commuters based on their preferences and leaves them to contact each other and propose arrangements. The site calculates how much greenhouse gas emissions they’ll save and how much a passenger should contribute toward the driver’s commute costs.

Besides saving money, ride-sharers can often actually cut their commute time by qualifying to use HOV lanes. Some employers also provide preferential parking spots.

There are currently more than 20,000 registrants in the ride-share.com database offering or seeking rides, of which 4,700 are considered active.

Vancouver has the largest number of participants with 800, followed by the North Shore, Surrey and Sea-to-Sky corridor (each with at least 400); Burnaby, Richmond, Langley, Coquitlam and Abbotsford have 300 to 400 each; Chilliwack, Delta, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and New Westminster have at least 100 registrants.

newsroom@northshoreoutlook.com

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