Gohio Commute-New Smart Commuting Choices
People who bike or carpool to work have a new resource – and one that rewards them for choosing to travel smarter. Seven Metropolitan Planning Organizations that coordinate transportation planning in their parts of Ohio joined forces and are customizing a new service for people who carpool, walk, bicycle, use transit –even telecommute (work at home) – or otherwise actively reduce their carbon footprint. It’s called Gohio (gohiocommute.com/s/tmacog) and the service is up and running.
This online tool helps users discover a smarter commute and keep track of their travels. Carpooling or combining transit and bike riding save money, prevent pollution, and reduce road congestion. The old system (Share a Ride) was a simple matching program, looking for people going to the same place at the same time who could carpool together. The new service is much more robust, with lots of information about how to map a bike trip, tools to help find people to ride with, information about how much energy is saved when you carpool, calories expended on your bike ride, and many more resources. The program is interactive and user-friendly and works well on mobile devices. The map section shows where people can re-charge an electric car and will show bike share locations when that service is operational in downtown Toledo. A transit trip planner helps commuters easily navigate TARTA’s bus system.
TMACOG staff can also reward people who log in their trips. In May, which was Bike Month, bike trips were worth double points, and the person who earned the most points received a voucher for Mud Hens tickets.
“We want to reward people for using alternatives to driving alone,” said TMACOG Transportation Planner Mike Fuller. “The more people log in, the more rewards they can earn and the more useful the program will be.” Transportation Planner Bekka Apardian said, “The information travelers provide will also be useful in future planning. We’ll be able to see which routes are preferred and where we should focus on new infrastructure.”