New carpool app goes live

New carpool app goes live (Generic Photo)

It's a new way to carpool right at your fingertips.

"The goal is you should be able to do everything you need to do with just your thumb," say Michael Hemry, President of MediaBeef, who helped develop the app.

The Commuter Connections app is called Carpool Now, and connects both drivers and riders looking to share their commute.

The new app shows routes, estimated pick up times, and confirms pick up and drop off locations.

It works similar to those used for Uber and Lyft, but Carpool Now is a free way to get people carpooling together.

The hope is this tool will, in real time, connect people who want to carpool, but don't have access to slug lines or carpool lots.

"We're looking at this for the I-66 corridor with the conversion of HOV 2, HOV 3 . . . if you want to get that free ride you can use this," says Nicholas Ramfos, Director of Commuter Connections.

This comes as new data shows in recent years drivers getting in a car alone on their commute, is dropping.

Back in 2001, more than 70 percent of the region's commuters drove alone to work, that number is now just 61 percent.

But developers say Carpool Now goes beyond commuting, the hope is it will also used to alleviate congested roads during major events in the region.

"If you're doing a later concert or late sporting event you need that ride home, great way to get people out of gridlock," adds Hemry.

Security is also a big component.

For privacy reasons, users only enter a first name.

Drivers, who don't need a background check, like for hire ride sharing, have access to a phone number for people they pick up.

Anyone caught using the app for nefarious reasons will immediately have their account deactivated.

The app is now available on android and apple devices and will soon be available on blackberry as well.

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