Whether you make routine trips across town or across the state, it’s very possible someone else is making that same trek and could share the costs — and share the driving duties as well.
Brent Paulsen, a research and technology manager at the Iowa Department of Transportation, says they’ve launched a website to connect daily travelers with one another.
“It’s a way to match commuters, those using car pool and van pool trips,” Paulsen says. “It’s targeted towards commuters but it also includes a bicycle matching component as well as walking buddies.” While the car and van pool options are more for people going to and from work, the cycling and walking options may just be for exercise.
The website is called IowaRideShare.org and it’s very simple to use. “Just put in your origin and destination in the ‘from’ and ‘to’ and hit ‘search’ and it’ll show you a list of the options that are available,” Paulsen says. Any matches are shown on an interactive Google map, allowing users to email potential matches. It’s a secure website and it was designed as a way for Iowans to consolidate their trips.
“We want to increase the commute transportation options that are available to Iowans,” Paulsen says, “and this is part of a project to do that.” The database is searchable and he says it’s always changing as more users sign up. It’s designed to be flexible and Paulsen says you can sign up for options that work best for you, including which days of the week you want to share a ride or if you would rather drive or ride only.