Photo courtesy of Pace Suburban Bus
Pace RideShare helps commuters reduce traffic congestion by driving together.
MPC Research Assistant Andrew Matsas authored this post
Ride sharing has been establishing itself as a credible alternative for commutes where driving alone would otherwise seem like the only option available. Chicagoland is helping spread the love with its own rideshare service: Pace RideShare. The program, operated by Pace Suburban Bus, is one of the country’s leaders in ridesharing, giving employees and residents of Chicago and the greater metropolitan area alike a platform to aid in the formation of carpools and vanpools.
Free to the public, commuters register online to find matching drivers with similar routes and schedules. Commuters can set multiple preferences to filter matches, such as non-smoking vehicles and commuting only with coworkers. The site currently has over 10,000 registered users, with more than 2,000 added during 2012. Over 150 carpools were registered in 2012 and the program has currently over 300 vanpool seats open that can be matched through the site. Once connected, registered members are also able to log their trips with the site automatically calculating their cost savings and emission reductions. On top of that, Pace has a company option, working with employers to promote the site to employees and giving employers administrative rights to their employer page. That way the employers can follow up on employees’ rideshare performances and keep track of program metrics!
In 2013, Pace RideShare is looking to the launch of a new version of their PaceRideShare.com site using GreenRide Connect. The program will supply improved functionality, including enhanced map displays, event matching, integrated vanpool routes, and ability to have multiple trips under one profile. An updated live phone system and mobile alert capabilities for ‘real-time’ carpooling will also be incorporated into the service.
Pace RideShare also looks towards a potential partnering with Drive Less Live More. An incentive-based program created by Active Transportation Alliance and supported by Regional Transportation Authority, Drive Less Live More is dedicated to shifting travel behavior of commuters from driving alone to other modes such as transit or ridesharing.
MPC has discussed how smart information technology has lately been an important device for transportation authorities. The Chicago region has already implemented the use of these advantageous tools: bus and train trackers, streamlined fare payment systems, and traffic signal priority for buses to name a few. Rideshare programs are looking to join the fun. Several rideshare programs, including Pace, see the creation of a rideshare mobile app as an innovative tool that will help reach a larger audience and provide a faster and more efficient way to connect commuters who are in need. Pace RideShare sees the development of an app on the horizon as an essential step to keep rideshare integrated in the evolving scheme of public transit.
For more information regarding Pace RideShare visit their website.