From Carpooling to Transit: A Multimodal Carpooling Application in Montreal, Canada

The following post comes courtesy of Global Site Plans' The Grid. CNU and Global Site Plans recently teamed up to syndicate Grid content, as its contingent of writers presents a view on the opportunities and issues of urbanization all across the world. CNU will carry select posts from the Grid direct on the CNU Salons.


Netlift website homepageIn low-density environments, carpooling has long been touted as a sustainabletransportation alternative. However, in practice it is difficult to realize. Rarely do multiple people have the same origin and destination – and even when they do, this does not hold for every day of the week. This is attributable to our increasingly flexible work schedules, work days that extend beyond the traditional nine to five, parental commitments to drive children to various activities, and suburban neighborhoods that sprawl out in every direction from the city center.

However, what if you could connect with another person for one leg of one trip – to or from public transit, for instance? What if this trip and payment to the driver could be arranged using your mobile phone?

Carpooling Parking Spots at John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec

Netlift is a multimodal carpooling platform that allows people to connect to arrange carpooling, but includes bus, metro, and train lines. It allows drivers to set a fare and for payment to be completed using mobile phones. The application also calculates the greenhouse gas emissions that are saved by each car trip avoided. It takes the most convenient part of carpooling (two people going in the same direction), and eliminates the problem of those two (or more) people having different destinations on different days.

Hesitant to get into a car with a stranger? The application has a 0 to 100 rating system, so negative experiences can be reported and those users avoided by future drivers and passengers. The founders are also exploring the possibility of connecting people via their social networksThis would mean carpooling with a friend of a friend (of a friend, perhaps) instead of a complete stranger, which increases users’ sense of security.

Can carpooling work as a sustainable mode of transportation?  Does it work in your city? Could this mobile application, that combines carpooling with transit lines, get people out of their cars and sharing a ride to the nearest transit line?

To read the original post, written by Devon Paige Willis, visit Global Site Plans.


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