Here at OttawaStart, we were curious as to why the City developed a new carpool site -- when we've been running a free carpool service for over 3 years at OttawaCarPool.ca.
So we emailed Mayor Bob Chiarelli and Councillor Janet Stavinga to find out their rationale. Councillor Stavinga responded today via email:
I can provide more information regarding the matter above. The City of Ottawa was aware of www.ottawacarpool.ca before embarking on the development of our current carpooling system, OttawaRideMatch.com.
In developing carpooling as a marketable Transportation Demand Management solution in Ottawa, it was important to make it both as accessible and attractive to the general public as possible. It was necessary to ensure that any internet-based system was bilingual, secure, and that it catered to the specific needs of carpool searching throughout the City of Ottawa. OttawaRideMatch.com is state-of-the-art in that it is a GIS-based system which searches out appropriate matches based on specific address information (and even goes so far as to automatically search out matches that fall along one's commuting route). In addition, it is fully bilingual and the appropriate security measures are in place to protect the City against liability.
The costs to the City of developing OttawaRideMatch.com were in the range of $50,000, with an additional $25,000 being contributed by Transport Canada. On-going maintenance and operating costs are expected to be in the range of $12,000 per year.
Should you require further information, please contact Bob Streicher, Manager with Mobility & Area Traffic Management by e-mail at Bob.Streicher@ottawa.ca.
I sincerely hope this information is of assistance.
Councillor Janet Stavinga - Goulbourn Ward
City of Ottawa
Related: Ottawa Traffic Guide