Efficiency is Rewarding

NuRide, a self-regulated incentive program that allows participants to track green trips and collect rewards, recently partnered with Avego, a ridesharing application that matches drivers with riders going to similar locations. It’s nice to see companies that espouse efficiency & sharing, working together toward a common interest.

According to NuRide, 1.1 billion trips are taken every day, 78% of which are solo drivers with empty seats in their cars.  In their effort to discourage this behavior, NuRide awards 100 points for every green trip a member makes. These trips include walking, biking, using public transportation, telecommuting, carpooling, or ridesharing. Points can then be redeemed for real rewards, mostly in the form of coupons to chains such as Quiznos, Brookstone, and 1-800 Flowers.

Here’s our take on this: great first step, keep it coming, more rewards, better rewards.

In other words: we’re looking forward to the day when ride-sharing becomes the incentive in itself. And it’s already happening in locations with progressive traffic management policies.  Two locations that come to mind immediately are San Francisco & Washington DC. In San Francisco, crossing the Bay Bridge with three or more passengers lets you bypass the toll and gives you access to the car pool lane.  Similarly DC, “slugging” has been getting people into the city more efficiently for about 35 years.

In San Francisco and DC, successful ride-shares reward commuters immediately: by making commuting is faster. And both of these successes are predicated on progressive HOV policies. As transportation policy progresses, the need for additional incentive programs will decrease,  but in the meantime, keep the coupons coming.