Carma: Real-time Carpooling Comes to SSU
Carma SF Bay, a real-time carpool pilot program, is rolling out at Sonoma State University as well as across Sonoma County. Using web and mobile technology, Carma provides 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 demand;
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
• Build a critical mass of users to continue carpooling once local outreach wraps up.
Sponsored by SSU, 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 Carma system. SSU community members with smartphones can use the Carma Carpooling app either as riders or drivers. Those with basic mobile phones can use the Carma system only as riders by going online to www.car.ma/sfbay. 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, Carma also features a user rating system. Additionally, SSU community members who participate in the system are eligible for special rewards. For further details, visit www.car.ma/sfbay.
The Carma Carpooling smartphone app is free to download. All new users receive $5 in credit to try the system as riders. To offset the cost of driving, riders are charged $1 for the first mile of the shared trip then 20 cents per mile for the next 14 miles. Thereafter, the cost drops to 8 cents per mile. These micropayments from the rider to driver are transferred electronically with 15% going to the software provider, Avego, for operational costs. The driver also has the option of providing the rider a free ride in the app.
To participate, download the Carma Carpooling app from your iPhone or Android. Those with basic mobile phones can sign up at www.car.ma/sfbay.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Carma Sonoma Team email contact: email@example.com
• SSU Transportation page featuring Carma: www.sonoma.edu/ps/transportation/rideshare.html
• Technical support: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.866.534.3933
• Media Contact: Brant Arthur, email@example.com