This past week, I had the opportunity to hear about a product provided by the company, Ecology and Environment, Inc., called “Greenride: Mobility Management Solutions.” John Moore, the college’s Director of Engineering, and I participated in a webcast about the program and specifically, about the Greenride Connect component that provides a web-based carpool matching program.
As the college considers its participation in STARS--and the implicit transportation management components that form part of the tracking--exploring methods to manage the information and activity is critical. The company, Ecology and Environment, provides solutions through its Greenride program that include fleet and business trip management, vanpool management, and personalized weather and traffic reports, however, in this presentation we heard only about the specific management program that oversees carpool or ride-sharing management.
Through this program, commuters can find carpool options and other smart commute options tailored specifically for them, based upon information they provide to a web system. The way it works is that a potential student, staff or faculty member that commutes to Oswego from say, Baldwinsville, would register their individual information. They would input the days they want to commute to SUNY Oswego, the times of departure and return, and their flexibility with departure and return times (15 minute, 30 minutes, one hour, etc). The program would then match them with other commuters hoping to travel roughly the same route, with roughly the same departure and return plans.
Commuters are matched with those with similar transportation needs/plans, and through a secure email system are able to communicate with each other to arrange carpooling. The college, institution, or group of local institutions can partner to pay for the costs associated with the program, and are allowed a certain number of subscriptions per service fee. The college or collective can choose to incentivize the program leading to greater participation, or can allow commuters to opt in as they see fit. There is a tracking interface that provides reports allowing the institution(s) to report out on miles saved, carbon dioxide equivalents saved, money saved, total number of commutes saved, etc.
The program also provides an administrative hub that allows for employee tracking, cluster mapping to encourage usage, incentive management interface, and a variety of charting and reporting outputs all that will facilitate institution reporting and management objectives.
According to the company, the outcomes include “reduced vehicle miles traveled, congestion, GHG emissions, energy consumption, fuel costs, reduced need for costly parking, lower churn and higher employee productivity, greater personal satisfaction of contribution to helping the environment, saving money, improving personal fitness.”
We plan to continue to explore this and other transportation management solutions as we advance the institution’s participation in STARS, and attempt to impact CO2 emissions.
-Thad Mantaro, SUNY Oswego