Traffic congestion, travel delays and air pollution all point to a problem the Denver metro area and its commuters face daily. My Way to Go, an innovative web-based trip planning tool launched this week at mywaytogo.org, offering area residents a convenient central resource to explore multiple commute options. The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Way to Go program debuts the one-stop shop that allows commuters to easily and comprehensively compare their trip options and make informed choices.
Users can simply enter their trip information to quickly see their commute options and compare travel time, distance, cost, and health benefits, including calories burned and such environmental impacts as CO2 generated. The tool incorporates transit (including bus and light rail), biking, walking, carpooling and vanpooling, comparing each option to driving alone. DRCOG and its partners hope to incorporate even more features, including carshare and bikeshare information, in a later phase of development. “This tool is really the first of its kind in the country, comparing different aspects of commute information on multiple modes in just a few quick and easy steps,” said DRCOG Executive Director Jennifer Schaufele. “It offers Denver region commuters the best available multimodal trip planning experience. We believe this will be a game-changer as we work to shift commuting behavior and meet our Metro Vision traffic goals.”
DRCOG pioneered ridematching services in the region in the 1970s as a response to the energy crisis using a time-intensive manual tracking system to form carpools. And while the underlying technologies have changed over the years to computer-based systems, the offerings still fell short of the experience the Way to Go team envisioned.
“Market research indicates that one of the key barriers for people even considering other options is the difficulty in finding good information. Visiting multiple websites to explore options, calculate costs and incorporate other variables makes it more work than people think it’s worth,” said Schaufele. “We’re removing that barrier.”
The My Way to Go tool has been developed by California-based RideAmigos, working closely with Way to Go staff and mapping technology leader Esri to design the best possible user experience. The interactive website is easy to use and offers mobile interface on smartphones and tablets without requiring an app. The platform sets a new standard in the industry, one that could become a model for other agencies to follow.
Commuters can start exploring their options at www.mywaytogo.org; businesses can ask for a demonstration from a Way to Go specialist (303-458-7665 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 303-458-7665 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting) to see how they can help their employees use the new tool.