U.S. 36 carpool program seeks to reduce traffic, improve air quality

Early Monday chill couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Audrey DeBarros and Saila Hanninen, who were eager to kickstart Colorado’s first on demand ride-share program at the U.S. 36 and Table Mesa transit station.

They handed out freebies along with fliers announcing Casual Carpool on U.S. 36 to commuters waiting or getting ready to board public transit buses.

“I’ll look into it,” said Dan Mandle of Boulder. He has been commuting daily to Denver for 2 1/2 years, he said. Though the transit bus works for him, it’s good know of other options, Mandle said.

Casual Carpool on U.S. 36 is a pilot program of Louisville-based Commuting Solutions, said DeBarros, executive director of the organization. The program was developed with the help of a federal grant to reduce traffic and improve air quality, she said. An estimated 100,000 vehicles travel daily on U.S. 36, and the great majority of people using the express lanes are solo drivers, she said.

The innovative app-based program matches drivers and riders traveling in the same direction on the busy corridor with the aim to reduce the number of cars on the road, said Hanninen, director of partnerships, Waze Carpool for the Rocky Mountain Region.

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