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St. Louis area ride-share program seeks to increase, promote carpooling

One of RideFinders' 15-passenger vans
(Courtesy: RideFinders)

More than 11,000 commuters in the St. Louis area are registered with RideFinders, an organization that provides free ride-matching services over a nine-county area in Missouri and Illinois.

According to data from the U.S. Census, carpooling is most popular in cities such as Memphis, Houston, Phoenix, Detroit and Dallas. In those communities, about 12 percent of commuters carpool.

The move toward car and vanpooling is gaining traction in the St. Louis area, according to RideFinders representatives SJ Morrison and Eric Casper.

“What’s interesting is that more and more people are wanting alternative transportation modes,
 Morrison told "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh. “They are looking for workplaces that value alternative transportation modes.”

St. Louis area businesses such as Boeing, Wells Fargo and Monsanto, to name a few, are encouraging the use of RideFinders. In addition, commuters can register their own carpools, or use a combination of carpooling and public transit.

And, ride-sharing is becoming increasingly popular among younger demographic groups. “Alternative modes of transportation are a huge deal when it comes to millenials,” Casper said.

RideFinders also boasts that it saves commuters money and helps eliminate more than 100,000 pounds of air pollution monthly.

Commuters who participate in RideFinders’ vanpool or carpool programs are eligible for a program that offers up to four $125 taxi rides home per year in case of emergency. 

The organization is operated by Madison County Transit and funded by an initiative of the federal government.

St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.