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Avego Newsletter

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

3 out of 4 US commuters would carpool to save time or money

Survey reveals untapped consumer demand for carpooling

Avego conducted a commuter survey to try to understand people's attitudes towards carpooling. Specifically, we wanted to find out if time and/or money savings were motivators to consider carpooling. The survey of U.S. commuters revealed key findings in a number of areas including:

Saving Time and Money: 77 percent of consumers surveyed responded that they are interested in carpooling. Of those interested, 60 percent are motivated to carpool by the potential to save time on their commute, and 69 percent are motivated by the potential to save money.

How Much Money? For those consumers who would consider carpooling, 66 percent would carpool for $30 or less in savings per week.

Controlling the timing: When asked the primary reason they like to drive to work, 37 percent of respondents indicated they like to control when they leave, while 19 percent choose driving because it is more convenient than other options.

Rural vs. Urban: 77 percent of survey respondents who identified themselves as rural or suburban residents indicated they would be interested in carpooling versus 76 percent of respondents who identified as urban dwellers. Urbanites were most likely to be motivated by time savings, while rural/suburban residents were most motivated by saving money.

The findings come at a critical time for America’s transportation authorities, as new data from Inrix and the Texas Transportation Institute’s recent Urban Mobility Report detail the massive amounts of time and money wasted by traffic congestion. Additionally, President Obama recently outlined a $556 billion transportation plan as part of his 2012 budget proposal.

“Despite the gradual decline in carpooling in America in the last 30 years, interest in carpooling remains phenomenally high,” said Sean O’Sullivan, Avego managing director. “If technology and policy can combine to offer the right mix of time and money savings to potential carpoolers, millions of Americans can play their part in reducing the huge costs of traffic congestion and infrastructure.”

Currently, nearly twice as many people in the United States carpool (see table 1064) as take public transit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The data from the survey suggests America’s carpooling rate could be seven times higher than it already is.

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Avego Launches New Real-time Ridesharing Pilot in Ireland

Will ease congestion between Carrigaline and leading Irish University

For many students, faculty and employees of University College, Cork, the commute to and from campus from the nearby suburb of Carrigaline gets a failing grade.

According to the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, Carrigaline has the highest proportion of workers commuting to work by car in Ireland (74%), and is also one of Ireland’s most congested routes. Despite being only a little over 12 kilometres, the UCC to Carrigaline route can take up to one hour at peak times. With no direct public transportation options available, many commuters end up driving alone.

An Avego rickshaw gave UCC students a sample of a more old-fashioned form of ridesharing.

Avego recently launched a three month real-time ridesharing pilot program to help members of the UCC community who commute to campus from Carrigaline.

Building on previous driver pilots with UCC in 2009 and 2010, which focused on usability testing and understanding consumer attitudes towards ridesharing, this new pilot will attempt to build a “critical mass” of 30 drivers and 100 riders along the busy UCC to Carrigaline route.

UCC’s Commuter Plan Manager Stephan Koch said, “Through our Commuter Plan we have been offering and promoting transport alternatives such as park and ride, carpooling, etc., over the last eight years. We are enthusiastic about participating in an Avego pilot in UCC, which will add another dimension to our Commuter Plan and supplement the existing commuter options for our students and staff."

To find out more, click here.

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Employee Spotlight: James Donovan

Product Manager is latest addition to Futurefleet team

Since joining Avego last July, Cork, Ireland native James Donovan has been instrumental in bringing Avego’s real-time ridesharing programs to life on the other side of the Atlantic.

James travelled to Indian Wells, California to coordinate Avego's real-time ridesharing service at last year's Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) Conference. More recently, James packed his bags for Seattle, Washington, where he managed go520, the world’s largest real-time ridesharing community.

In his new role as Product Manager for Futurefleet, James will oversee the development of Avego’s real-time management system for passenger transport operators.

James received his degree in Civil Engineering from University College, Cork, where he was a national champion in rowing. Prior to joining Avego, James was a site manager for a large construction company in London, England.

James cites a key reason for his decision to come back home to Cork from London, “Big construction projects have long timelines, and are managed with a very rigid ‘waterfall’ process. Avego’s ‘agile’ approach to software development gives me the chance to work on some really exciting technologies in close collaboration with a very talented team of engineers.”

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