Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Future of Ridesharing?

The most recent issue of TDM Review predicted that “the emergence of “real-time ride matching apps” for smart phones may be the tipping point that brings ride matching to the masses.”

One of these is AvegoTM Shared Transport ( It offers real-time search capability right from your cell phone. The app lets private cars and vans become part of the public transportation network by allowing drivers to offer their vacant seats to riders. A driver with vacant seats can be matched with riders in need of a ride along the same route at the same time. The cost of the trip can even be fairly calculated and charged to the rider.

Carticipate ( is another iPhone app with ride matching capabilities. But it is the first rideshare application on a location-aware mobile platform. iPhone users tell the app where they’re headed and Carticipate can pinpoint their location via iPhone’s built-in GPS and locate other Carticipate registered drivers or riders along the way. Carticipate works with Facebook, too.

Pretty soon there will likely be dozens of rideshare and trip planning apps like Avego and Carticipate. And with smart phone use predicted to grow, perhaps one day sharing a ride may become as commonplace as driving alone.

Of course, it's worth noting that Smart Trips currently offers ridematching on its website at

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tell Me About It

Smart Trips recently held its first post-Commuter Challenge celebration event. This one was at the University of Tennessee to award the Green Spirit Award ‘Log” for most enthusiastic participation. Delicious Tomato Head pizza and Magpies cupcakes were enjoyed by all.

As usually happens at Smart Trips events, we get feedback on a variety of transportation topics – bus service glitches, long-awaited greenways, bike-lane markings and trolley schedules. I’m glad our participants feel comfortable sharing their transportation difficulties.

It would be great to learn about these concerns as they occur, so that they could be addressed in as timely a fashion as possible and since this might save someone else from encountering the same thing.

To that end, Smart Trips participants are encouraged to let us know about travel problems they run into while riding the bus, bicycling around town or carpooling as soon as they can. Please feel free to contact us at any time with your ideas, questions and concerns. You can share with us via our blog comments, or on facebook at, via Twitter @knoxsmarttrips, or email to

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

If It Was Easy

This afternoon a friend said something both mundane and profound. We were discussing our diets – hers is really healthy; mine, not so much – and she said, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” And I realized that that sentiment could apply to a lot of things.

If it was easy, everyone would eat healthy, be fit, and participate in Smart Trips. Truth is, sometimes, the very things that are best for us, and the world around us, are not the easiest things to do.

That’s just one reason Smart Trips strives to make green commuting as simple and pleasant as possible, from providing services such as our ride matching database and bicycle mentors to regularly offering participants gift cards and other prizes.

So as the weather turns colder and you contemplate whether to try clean commuting or keep on doing what you’re doing, remember, no one ever said it was going to be easy. But it sure can be rewarding – and in more ways than one.

More information about Smart Trips is available at