Washington, D.C. – Commuter Connections, known for its online commuter ride-matching system and Guaranteed Ride Home program, is now offering an additional way to make getting around the metropolitan Washington region easier: ride-matching for special events.
For example, consider a Frederick, Md. resident who commutes in to the District of Columbia via MARC Commuter Rail. She wants to attend a Thursday evening Washington Nationals baseball game at Nationals Park.; however, the last MARC train leaves Union Station for Frederick well before the game is scheduled to conclude. She therefore decides to pass up the game. Or consider another scenario. Two college students living in D.C. want to see their favorite band playing at Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Va., but neither of them have a car.
In both cases, this new feature would allow the users to easily connect with others that live or work near them who plan to attend the same event. Users will then be in a position to discuss setting up a ride to and/or from the event, and in the process, they may meet people with similar interests.
“Commuter Connections hopes that the events ride-matching feature will not only reduce traffic congestion around many of the region’s entertainment and sports venues, but that it will also allow area residents to attend events that were previously inaccessible due to transportation limitations,” said Nicholas Ramfos, director of Commuter Connections. “We are looking forward to working with a number of area venues and teams, including the Washington Nationals, to promote the new events ride-matching feature.”
To use the events ride-matching feature, users must create a free account with Commuter Connections via its Web site at http://www.commuterconnections.org. After creating an account, users can edit their “Event Profile,” which allows them to select events for which they are interested in ride-matches. Events are being added regularly, and users can submit events to be included in the ride-matching database. Users can select their home or work location as their origination point, which is then shown on an interactive Google map where the closest matches are located.
Commuter Connections launched its online ride-matching system in September 2008. The system provides commuters with access to people that live and work near them and are also interested in carpooling or vanpooling.
The purpose of opening access to the Web-based service is to further help residents of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia cope with traffic congestion and fluctuating gas prices by supplying them with transportation alternatives to driving alone.