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Carpoolers Unite 

  The Regional Planning Commission's (RPC) Metro New Orleans GreenRide is a ridesharing matchmaker — the program offers a free carpool matching service for metro New Orleans commuters. Create a profile, and the program will match you with commuters in your area. The program also will calculate your shared commute into cost savings and emissions reductions: how much gas will you save, and how much carbon emissions you will prevent from entering the atmosphere.

  The program, part of the RPC's Congestion Management Plan (itself a part of the comprehensive Metropolitan Transportation Plan), intends to reduce congestion on roads and highways. RPC transportation planner John King says GreenRide hopes to have up to 1,500 users within the program's first year. (Its first few weeks saw 100 registered users.) "It's all pretty new to us," King says. "We're still getting a feel for what works well in this region."

  The website takes commuters' travel information and returns a map pointing to nearby participants with similar commutes. The website may soon sync users to their Facebook accounts for easier access. "Eventually it'll reach critical mass where it's easy to find a ride wherever you want to go in the region," King says.

  Visit www.norpc.greenride.com for more information.

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