Carpool test may spread
Commuters fed up with traffic have a chance to join a pilot carpooling scheme.
The trial will run from Silverdale to Albany and may also spread to an Onewa Rd to Auckland CBD route.
Called Raspberry Rideshare, the programme is the brainchild of business consultant Paul Minett who came up with the idea as he sat in traffic.
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board has given its full support behind the initiative.
The programme is also talking to the Kaipatiki Local Board over a plan to add a route from Onewa Rd to the CBD.
The scheme involves members gathering at a central location in Silverdale to carpool en route to Albany station.
Silverdale was chosen as starting point in view of figures showing at least 25 percent of cars parking at Albany are from the Hibiscus Coast.
About 1000 coast residents work in the Auckland CBD and another 700 in Albany.
People can join by paying a membership fee of $20. Members are screened to ensure safety and given an ID card and user name.
A currency of ride credits is established – drivers receive ride credits for taking passengers and riders give ride credits for taking a ride.
Riders send a text with the driver ID to the system and ride credits go from each rider to the driver who can use them to obtain future rides.
"Some mornings a member may be the driver and other mornings he may be the passenger.
"The value of ride credits will be determined by the market, it will be flexible and change over time," he says.
Mr Minett says the scheme is an inexpensive but premium way to carpool.
"The savings in terms of petrol costs and the environment are huge.
"In fact we cannot afford not to carpool, it's time we got smarter with our use of energy and resources," he says.
The pilot Silverdale-Albany route needs 150 "pioneers" to get it up and running.
Visit www.raspberryrideshare.com or call Mr Minett on 021-289-8444 for more details.
North Shore Times