Carma: Real-time Ridesharing Comes to SSU
Carma, a real-time carpooling pilot program, is rolling out at Sonoma State University as well as across Sonoma County. Using web and mobile technology, Carma will provide students, faculty and staff a convenient and affordable way to carpool through a social network that connects riders and drivers in real-time and in advance.
The pilot aims to:
• Increase the number of shared commute trips to SSU while reducing the parking load;
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
• Build a critical mass of users to continue carpooling once local outreach wraps up in late 2013.
The Santa Rosa-based non-profit Climate Protection Campaign is implementing the pilot in partnership with the Sonoma County Transportation Authority and their software provider, Avego.
How it works
A mobile phone is required to use the software. SSU community members with smartphones can use the app either as riders or drivers. Those with basic mobile phones can use the software only as riders. The software tracks shared trips and electronically transfers a micropayment from rider to driver to offset the cost of driving.
To facilitate carpool community-building, it also features a user rating system. Additionally, SSU community members who participate in Carma are eligible for the Carma MORE rewards and referral programs, with opportunities to earn great rewards for carpooling. For further details, visit https://car.ma/sfbay.
The smartphone app is free to download. All new users receive $20 in credit to try the system as riders. Riders are charged $1 for the first mile of the shared trip then 20 cents per mile for the next 15 miles. Thereafter, the cost drops to 15 cents per mile. These micropayments from the rider to driver are transferred electronically. The driver also has the option of providing the rider a free ride in the app.
To participate, interested students, faculty, and staff members must complete the online registration at www.car.ma/sfbay. Once completed, an email will guide registrants through a few simple steps. Connecting with Carma Sonoma at SSU
• Official Carma SSU website and sign-up page: www.car.ma/sfbay
• Carma Sonoma blog: www.carma-sfbay.tumblr.com
• SSU Staff contact for Carma: Missy Brunetta, email@example.com
• Carma Sonoma Team email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
• SSU Transportation page feat. Carma Rideshare: www.sonoma.edu/ps/transportation/rideshare.html
• Technical support: email@example.com or 1.866.534.3933
• Media Contact: Amy McCrary, firstname.lastname@example.org