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29 maps, vanpool program, and park-and-ride lots. A link to awarded funding to develop a pilot program in three counties. the agency's "Vanpool Information Request Form" used for (See the MTC profile in chapter four.) ride-matching is available on the Facebook website. Simi- larly, links to the agency's Facebook and Twitter websites are featured on the main SCAT website, www.ridescat.com, Profile: Dynamic Ridesharing and icons for both sites are on the agency's bus schedules. Coming to Seattle The Facebook and Twitter websites are also intertwined The first large-scale real-time ridesharing program in the so that updates to one are automatically sent to the other. country--"go520"--went live in 2011. Avego Corporation Roughly 30 people follow SCAT on Twitter, and more than uses GPS-enabled smartphones to connect riders with driv- 60 people "like" the agency's Facebook page. ers on State Route 520. Avego signed up 1,000 participants who travel in the 15-mile route between Redmond and DART operates about 12 of its vans into Des Moines from Seattle to participate in the project. In phase one, "go520" Ames, 35 miles to the north. A vanpooler who misses his was launched, Avego added phase two, which provides a van can ride on any of the others, providing there is room. guaranteed ride service for those who do not get a real-time The general manager of DART sees an opportunity for these match. vanpoolers to check on real-time availability through the use of DART's Facebook page. He believes it is currently a method of Riders and drivers register in advance to participate. There communication among fellow riders as well as among riders are mandatory criminal history and sex offender registry checks from different vans in the same area. In the future, he intends for all participants, and mandatory driving record checks and to provide on-line ride-matching on Facebook. proof of insurance requirements for all drivers. To use the sys- tem, drivers with iPhones or Windows Phone 7 must download Dynamic Ridesharing Avego's free smartphone application. When a ride is requested, the Avego Shared Transport System guides the driver to a pre- Dynamic ridesharing is a new technology that has few partic- established safe pick-up point along the route and riders are ipants. It can be defined as "technology-assisted slugging," sent the make, model, and license plate number of the driv- as rides are usually arranged on the fly in real time, often using er's car. The rider is given a one-time pin number to identify mobile phones. As illustrated in Table 20, most agencies sur- himself or herself to the driver. The pin number also serves to veyed do not offer it. Only one agency said it participated in charge the rider an electronic payment of $1 plus 20 cents per dynamic ridesharing, whereas another reported trying the mile traveled. For a typical 12-mile trip, the cost will be $3.40, program in the past but said "it was not successful." Close to comparable to a two-zone peak fare of $3 on transit. a third indicated that they do not see dynamic ridesharing as part of their mission (12). Pick-up points can be any public place. Pick-up and drop- off points where a driver will meet a rider include Children's However, 18 agencies said they were interested in dynamic Hospital, the University of Washington, selected park-and- ridesharing and offering it in the future. In comments received ride lots, and the Microsoft campus in Redmond. Some of the on the survey, five others indicated that they are already established pick-up points are at transit stops, as one goal of promoting dynamic ridesharing or are in the planning stages. the project is to cover the "last mile" to or from connections This nascent state of dynamic ridesharing is reflected in with transit. For safety reasons, no pick-ups can occur from the following respondent's comment: "We are waiting to residential addresses. see demonstrated meaningful results and means to address security concerns." Drivers receive incentives to participate. In addition to the payments they receive from riders, Avego-approved drivers WSDOT has funded Phase One of a dynamic ridesharing will earn 85 cents for every rider picked up and 17 cents per pilot project, which is being implemented during Phase Two mile. Riders are only limited by the capacity of the vehicle, by Avego Corporation in 2011 (see Figure 14). MTC has but federal rules limit the reimbursement for the total riders Table 20 What Is Your Agency's Practice Regarding Dynamic Ridesharing? Response Count Percent We are interested but not currently involved in dynamic ridesharing. 18 45 We do not view it as part of our mission. 12 30 We offer or are participating in dynamic ridesharing. 1 2 Other 9 22 Total responses 40 100
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30 FIGURE 14 Seattle's dynamic ridesharing pilot project. (Courtesy: Avego Corporation website.) in a car to 50 cents per mile. The Avego system credits the the Washington State Transportation Center. The "go520" rider's and driver's account and gives them an instant receipt. project was conceived to coincide with the introduction of tolls on the Lake Washington Bridge. It is expected that the WSDOT sponsored phase one, a $400,000 pilot project, tolls will give an added incentive for commuters to carpool, which included a pre-pilot web-based survey conducted by boosting participation in Phase two.