Whitehorse looks to launch rideshare program

The City of Whitehorse is gearing up to launch its new rideshare program. Commuters will soon be able to access a website where they can connect with others based on where they live and want to go.

The City of Whitehorse is gearing up to launch its new rideshare program.

Commuters will soon be able to access a website where they can connect with others based on where they live and want to go.

The new initiative is part of Whitehorse’s transportation demand management plan, which the City adopted last year.

One of the goals is to reduce the number of people who get to work as drivers from the current 75 per cent to 50 per cent, in the next 25 years.

According to the city’s research, the population of Whitehorse is expected to grow by 15,000 people in the next 25 years, adding an estimated 36,000 more vehicles to the city’s roads.

The program will be available to all Yukoners, according to Shannon Clohosey, manager of environmental sustainability for Whitehorse.

“One of our targets will be people living in country residential areas,” she said.

“They don’t have transit service so this provides another transportation option. Even if they decide to use it once a week, that’s 20 per cent savings on their gas and greenhouse gas emissions.

“It could also really be useful if you’re heading to the Atlin Arts and Music Festival, or to Haines Junction for a weekend of hiking.”

The new website will be user-friendly and also include transit routes for Whitehorse.

This isn’t the first time Whitehorse has tried to get a rideshare program off the ground.

In 2006, a $2,000 city-funded program urged commuters to visit carpool.ca to find nearby carpooling matches.

The program was soon discontinued because participation rates were low, Clohosey said.

The request for proposals closed last week and a “few strong submissions” were received, she added.

They will be evaluated and the contract will be awarded next week. Clohosey hopes the program can launch at the end of spring.

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