Everybody into the carpool
New program's flexibility aimed at faculty, staff and students'
by Hilary Thomson staff writer
HOV envy -- the condition affecting lone drivers as
carpoolers zoom along in the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane -- may
be a thing of the past for UBC students, faculty and staff
thanks to a new UBC TREK program.
Called Commuter Connections, the new Web-based initiative aims to match up
interested commuters with prospective carpool partners. It is
for post-secondary institutions and for individuals who have
"We hope this service fills a gap for people who want to carpool but don't know
where to start," says Gord Lovegrove, director of the TREK Program
To use the free service, commuters seeking carpool partners log onto the Web
site and provide their name and address along with campus arrival and departure
times. Smoking and gender preferences and interest in driving for the pool are
A confidential system, Commuter Connections uses this detailed personal data to
create reports of possible carpool matches. The reports that are sent back to
prospective poolers show limited personal information only.
Carpool members are encouraged to use e-mail to make their connections. After a
few electronic exchanges the pool is ready to hit the road.
The Commuter Connections system can accommodate an unlimited number of
participants; about 80 UBC commuters have joined the program since it
was launched in September. There are more than 31,000 UBC commuters.
About one-third currently use car or vanpools.
UBC's Commuter Connections is part of a North American non-profit
program started in 1992 that promotes the development of ride-share programs.
Sixteen Canadian post-secondary institutions participate.
The TREK Program Centre promotes sustainable transportation and is
responsible for all UBC transportation planning issues. Its goal is to
reduce single occupancy vehicle traffic to campus by promoting
alternative means of commuting.
For more information on Commuter Connections, check the Web site at