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20 FIGURE 6 Locations of non-transit agencies surveyed. Since 1995, MTC has contracted to deliver regional ride- Through its Climate Initiative grant program, MTC has sharing services, including support for formation of carpools approved $1.5 million of federal funds for a dynamic ride- and vanpools, employer transportation consulting and out- sharing pilot project in three Bay Area counties--Contra reach, management of online ride-matching tools, market- Costa, Marin, and Sonoma. The project, approved in Octo- ing, and some limited bicycling, airport, and incident-related ber 2010 for development, envisions contracting with one parking information services. Starting in 2011, the ridesharing or more software vendors to connect a pre-selected group of program will be renamed the 511 Regional Ridesharing and drivers and riders through mobile phones. MTC intends to Bicycling Program, and it will include consolidated bicycling incorporate lessons learned from the pilot project into the ser- information services. MTC is working on a multi-modal trip vices provided by the 511 Rideshare program and potentially planner that will extend the existing 511 transit trip planner to offer real-time rideshare services regionally. compare taking transit against the time, cost, and carbon emis- sions of driving to a transit stop or of driving the entire trip According to the MTC survey respondent, "Since MTC is not a transit operator, 511 Rideshare usually assists transit agencies after a decision has been made to alter/eliminate a service. 511 Rideshare can help customers looking for commute alternatives, and often helps them with alternative transit services or with carpooling and vanpooling options." The respondent also mentions that ridesharing has proven to be a solution in some emergency situations or unplanned events, such as transit strikes, major road closures, and natural disasters. Incentives Many non-transit agencies offer incentives to encourage people to participate in their ridesharing programs. Accord- ing to survey results, the most common incentive is prizes (Figure 9). For example, one non-transit agency said it pro- vides gift cards for starting a vanpool, and it gives out small FIGURE 7 Geographic areas served by prizes such as tote bags for signing up for its ride-matching non-transit agencies. system.
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21 Table 11 Why Is It Important for Ridesharing and Transit to Work Together? Responses Count Percent Service area gaps not filled by existing transit service 12 92 Market demand from our customers 10 77 Improved access to public transit routes, stations, or park-and-ride lots 10 77 Increased access to businesses and services with limited parking 9 69 Environmental concerns 8 62 Regulations 1 8 Meet mobility manager policy goals 1 8 Other 3 23 Total responses 13 100 Answers exceed 100% because respondents could choose multiple answers. Table 12 Does the Ridesharing Program Include Any of the Following Components? Responses Count Percent Provide carpool and vanpool matching 12 92 Market ridesharing to businesses 12 92 Provide guaranteed ride home 11 85 Form vanpool through a third-party provider 10 77 Provide incentives (e.g., loyalty programs, commuter checks, 10 77 prizes, recognition) Subsidize vanpool fares 8 62 Help establish vanpools with vehicles our agency owns or leases 6 46 Market ridesharing to transit riders 5 38 Provide parking for vanpools and carpools 4 31 Other 3 23 Total responses 13 100 Answers exceed 100% because respondents could choose multiple answers. FIGURE 8 SF Bay Area 511 Program Offers Rewards to Ridesharing Commuters. (Courtesy: Metropolitan Transportation Commission website.)