County Executive, Mayor Tout Cost Saving Transportation Options
July 29, 2008
New Website Links Neighbors to Save Commuting Costs
Joshua Wescott, (608) 267-8823 (County Executive)
Rachel Strauch-Nelson (608) 266-4611 (Mayor)
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz announced today a series of incentives are being offered to help commuters considering car-pooling or other forms of transportation
during these times of high gas prices.
At a news conference in front of a downtown Madison parking ramp, Falk and Cieslewicz said a new website is helping to match motorists not only in Madison but across Dane County and all of southern Wisconsin with neighbors, helping to save on gas costs.
“This latest Rideshare initiative is another user-friendly tool to help people looking to save a few bucks with the daily drive to work,” Falk said. “This site is really about giving neighbors a chance to help neighbors.”
“At a time when gas prices are skyrocketing, the Rideshare initiative is an innovative way to help our citizens work together to save money on their commutes,” Cieslewicz said.
Rideshare is also offering parking discounts for carpooling groups of three people or more. Those who take part get coupons to park for seven days at a more than 50% discount the regular rate. That means three people sharing a vehicle only end up paying $25 every three weeks for parking, in addition to the savings they see in gas by only driving in to work one out of every three weeks.
Rideshare also offers guaranteed ride home taxi service, funded in part by Dane County, and additional incentives to take the bus.
“With some people paying $300, $400 or more each month just to drive to work, exploring these commonsense options just makes sense,” Falk said.
There has been a 35% increase in participation in the “Rideshare” program this year, after a 50% increase in the program’s participation in 2007.
Rideshare helps match commuters with carpooling options in their communities and also offers a series of lower-cost transportation options including vanpools, discounted Madison Metro transit rates, and incentives for bikers and walkers. More than 80% of commuters who have used the new rideshareetc.org website have found a carpooling match.
Since January 1, 2008, over 4300 motorists have requested carpool matches. Nearly 10,000 commuters have contacted Rideshare since the first of the year in search of vanpool, mass transit, and park-n-ride alternatives. Those matches have cumulatively reduced commuter costs by an estimated $20,300,000 and reduced carbon monoxide and other environmentally unfriendly air emissions by hundreds of tons.
People interested in exploring commuting alternatives offered by Rideshare should visit rideshareetc.org or call 608-266-RIDE (7433).