Rural Transportation Options announced the wrap up of the Haliburton Rideshare initiative as of April 1, 2019. After running for several years, Haliburton Rideshare requires a dedicated staff and resources to properly continue its growth. Unfortunately, at this point, there are insufficient funds and energy for that work to be done.
Rural Transportation Options, having worked tirelessly for almost nine years to improve transportation options within Haliburton County, has tapped into provincial, federal and local funds, expertise and knowledge to advance the transportation agenda. The issue of transportation is overwhelming complex and touches many different sectors. Rural Transportation Options was determined to make a difference in this area and both researched and considered what was needed within Haliburton County.
Neighbourliness and empty seats considered best existing assets for transportation
Life in Haliburton County is made all the better by the people who live here and the kindness and caring that we all extend to each other. Matched with the number of empty passenger seats that are often found in personal vehicles, ridesharing was quickly determined to be the ‘low hanging fruit’ when considering how to use existing assets to help folks get around. Carpooling was already a familiar activity for most residents; the Rideshare initiative strived to expand those carpooling circles and help folks travelling in similar directions connect to share rides.
Ridesharing brought carpooling to forefront
There was a great deal of interest in the Rideshare project over its life. In fact, the month after it launched, it attracted over 750 page views and, at time of closing, there were 198 registered members.
While focus was on providing a successful virtual platform for people to connect to share rides, the overall intent of the Rideshare initiative was to prompt people to consider ridesharing more often as well as to cause community groups to begin encouraging their own members & participants to rideshare.
It was difficult to measure the full impact of the project as tracking successful rideshares through the website was not possible. However, informal surveys completed at events showed that there were significant increases in the number of people sharing rides to certain community events compared with ridesharing numbers from before the launch of Rideshare. So the needle was moved!
Rideshare has been archived
In the last year, the “Available Rides – Regular Rideshares” has been the most active page on the Rideshare website excluding the landing page. This shows that there continues to be more people who are looking for rides than people looking to offer rides. This imbalance could be leveled with more promotional activities and outreach to potential drivers. Feedback received also indicated that having the ability to screen drivers and riders and actually do “ride-matching” would help to increase the number of drivers willing to offer rides and the number of rides provided.
With limited resources and many other projects on the go, Rural Transportation Options has not and is not able to take Rideshare to this level. However, for an active volunteer group or an organization with funding to hire a part-time staff, this could easily be set up. The website components have been archived and can be made available should there be a group in the future who wishes to revive Haliburton Rideshare. Please contact the Haliburton County Community Co-Operative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we thank all of our supporters and all of you, the Ride-sharers!
Haliburton Rideshare was made possible through the support of:
Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
County of Haliburton
Rotary Club of Minden
Haliburton County Community Cooperative
Haliburton County Development Corporation
Rural Transportation Options Members: