February 26, 2007
New commuter matching program promotes transportation options
BY david payne
Who’s your perfect match for sharing a ride to work?
For those Emory commuters who are interested in starting a carpool or vanpool or simply finding a biking or walking partner, Emory is making it a little easier to find the ideal travel companion.
On Feb. 16, Emory launched the first phase of a new commuter matching program, a collaborative effort between the transportation, sustainability, and information technology departments. Phase I includes a new Web site that allows the viewer to see every vanpool, MARTA connection and Park-n-Ride option that Emory provides, as well as the current locations for each. Visit www.destination.emory.edu to view the new site.
Phase I of the program is meant to raise awareness of several transportation options that Emory supports.
The second phase of the site, which will launch in mid-March, will allow Emory commuters to enter their home address via the site, and find the 25 Emory University employees who live closest to them. These employees who live nearby will not be named and will be identified only by a dot on the map in the general vicinity of their home. The anonymous employee listing will also include a work location, so that potential matching riders can arrive on campus at mutually convenient locations.
Prospective carpoolers, or “initiators,” will be able to e-mail the University employees who live near them and work near them on campus and inquire about carpooling, vanpooling and biking or walking to work.
If not interested, the recipient of the e-mail can ignore the request and remain anonymous.
If the recipient is interested in discussing a possible commute together and replies to the e-mail, his or her e-mail address is revealed to the initiator. After the parties are communicating, they are free to organize a three-person or more carpool and receive a preferred parking space, free parking pass and other incentives provided under the carpool program. Once they have at least seven participants, employees can organize vanpools.
If Emory faculty and staff do not want to participate at all, they can opt out so that they are not associated with the program. Individuals are free to opt out at any time, but in order to opt out prior to the second phase of the site launch, University employees should send an e-mail by March 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “remove” in the subject line. The e-mail should be sent from the user’s Emory preferred e-mail account so that it can be processed correctly.
This program is currently limited to University faculty and staff, but it may be expanded in the future to Emory Healthcare and other institutional employers on Clifton Road.