A new high-tech method for finding carpool partners is up and running at the Iowa Department of Transportation’s website.
At IowaRideshare.org a motorist or passenger enters basic information to locate someone with similar transportation needs.
The proposed route will show up on an Iowa map.
“It uses technological mapping, interactive mapping, to link commuters, folks looking to ride with other folks,” said DOT acting director Mark Lowe. “It helps them create routes for either a single or a repetitive ride.”
For example, a quick look at the site currently shows 15 options for traveling between Ames and Des Moines.
Currently there are five participants wanting to travel between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, with most willing to either drive or be a passenger.
Lowe says the site will help motorists go beyond traditional park and ride models.
“It makes it much more effective because you go in and say this is where I am, this is where I need to get and how often,” Lowe says.
The site has registered 637 users since its launch October 20.
“The database is searchable, but since the service is new and people are just starting to sign up, finding a match might take a little time,” said project manager Brett Paulsen.
When you register on the site you can indicate whether or not you are a non-smoker.
Van pools are also included.
Bicycle, walking and transit buddies can also be matched using the interactive technology.