New approaches must be taken to make high occupancy vehicle (HOV) commuting more attractive. One approach is to use innovative communication technology to provide commuters with the means to easily and flexibly arrange for HOV commuting to and from their downtown office buildings. The goal of the study was to design and test an information system that would help decrease single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) travel to a downtown employment center by making alternative commuting options more attractive and easier to access. The project team accomplished this goal by developing, implementing, demonstrating, and testing a traveler information center (TIC) prototype in downtown Bellevue, Washington. The main function of the Bellevue Smart Traveler (BST) TIC was to help commuters form dynamic rideshare groups, as well as to provide traffic congestion and transit information. The TIC integrated phone and paging technology to deliver three types of personal commuter information: (1) dynamic ride matching information, (2) current traffic congestion information, and (3) transit information. The usage patterns and various surveys that were conducted suggested that participants liked the idea of dynamic ridesharing, liked the presentation of the information, liked the technology, were willing to offer rides, and used BST to receive other forms of information. However, for various reasons they were either unable or unwilling to form ride matches.
Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
Communications, Commuting, Data collection, Driver information systems, High occupancy vehicles, Information services, Measures of effectiveness, Passenger information systems, Prototypes, Public transit, Ridesharing, Surveys, Technological innovations, Travel demand.