Flexible Carpooling (Coffee Included) Coming to the States?

Written by Chris Hamilton.  Read the original article here.

Back in May we brought you a story (Is a More Formalized Slugging in Our Future?, May 3, 2007) from a company in New Zealand called Trip Convergence that was marketing a new carpooling service in an effort to combat congestion that they called HOVER (High Occupancy Vehicles in Express Routes). Now comes word that they are trying to get the concept off the ground in New York City through their test web site called Less Cars in New York.

Thank goodness they dropped the acronym HOVER as a name for their concept and settled on “Flexible Carpooling.” This seems way more consumer-friendly. For those who don”t remember the concept is about a membership based system where drivers go to a carpooling park (garage) and park in areas with folks who are heading to the same destinations downtown. Who drives and who rides is flexible. As soon as there are at least 3 people the car leaves. So the system is more flexible than traditional carpool assignments and more akin to slugging.

The system”s owner”s say that providing a membership system allows for greater safety through a screening process that best online casino includes references and checks on driving and criminal records. The membership also allows for tracking participation and providing members with a ride credits system that allows riders to compensate drivers.

Coffee_commuter_mug One of the fun perks of the system is that you can have a standing coffee order. As your car enters the facility and acknowledges you are there, the coffee barrista is told you”ve arrived and they make your order. It is then handed to you as you leave with the cost put on your membership. How cool is that?

At this point the system”s proponents are asking people in the New York area to register and say that they”d use the system if it becomes available. It seems like they are trying to get New York officials to consider this program as part of a greater congestion fighting program the city is putting together. Questions can be addressed to Paul Minett at paulminett@tripconvergence.co.nz. Here”s wishing them luck.

Perhaps someone in this area is willing to try to fund something similar? Would it get more people to carpool?

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