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Cary Launches Online Carpooling Program

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CARY, N.C. — The Town of Cary employs about 1,000 people, and about 75 percent of those employees live outside Cary.

That's why on Friday, with rising gas prices and increasing traffic snarls in the area, the town launched plans for an interoffice, online carpooling program.

"Trying to carpool at least once a week, because at $3 a gallon, that's going to save you a bunch," Betsy Pearce, who works in Cary's engineering department, said.

The average Triangle commuter spends about $2,200 a year on gasoline. Carpooling three days a week can save drivers almost $700 annually, state officials said.

Recently, Sandi Bailey, who also works in the town's engineering department, asked town leaders about carpooling options.

"With the number of employees the town has, I thought there have to be other people making the same commute," Bailey said. "I just don't know who they are."

Soon she will.

It's a work in progress, but Cary is building an interoffice, online database for employees.

Bailey will be able to logon, find a coworker who lives near her, and set up a carpool schedule. It will be similar to a statewide program that Bailey has already checked out.

The statewide database, called SharetheRideNC.com, allows commuters in North Carolina to find other people who are interested in carpooling. Right now, there are 4,334 people from the Triangle area who are registered.

"I found one person that might be an option, so we're going to see what we can work out," Bailey said. "But having the town set something up would be most convenient."

Cary is the only municipality we found in the area that is working on such a carpooling plan.

Raleigh and Durham offer free bus rides to city employees.


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