Metropia launches Houston car pooling service to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey

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The innovators of traffic congestion management platforms, Metropia Inc. has launched its online car pool pairing service to provide support to residents of Houston who have lost their vehicles due to floodwaters resulting from Hurricane Harvey.

An estimated 500,000 vehicles were destroyed in the flooding brought by the hurricane as it swept across eastern Texas. As schools and offices reopen, the countless car-dependent Houston citizens left without easy access to transportation will be reliant on the generosity of their neighbors for ongoing commutes until insurance claims are completed, local dealerships are able to meet the incredible demand, and public transit is fully up and running to those who have access.

By signing up at Metropia’s new Houston website, citizens in need of a ride, and drivers happy to share one, can enter their starting location, departure time and destination into the site, selecting it as a one-way or roundtrip car pool.

Metropia’s matching algorithms will work to pair nearby drivers and passengers with a common destination and travel time, introducing the two via email for the purposes of forming a car pool. The pairing process allows potential car poolers to participate at their own level of comfort with privacy in mind.

Once paired with another car pooler, drivers and passengers are given the name and email address provided by their match during signup and invited to reach out to discuss their car pool in greater detail. From that point, participants can share as much or as little personal information as desired.

The Arizona-based company optimizes transportation systems by using behavioral economics to influence drivers to shift departure times, routes and mode, and has a successful history of working with federal, state and municipal transportation agencies to bring innovative traffic solutions to cities.

“There are many outstanding programs established in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to help Houstonians get back on their feet, but our city’s recovery will still very much rely on the generosity of Houstonians in helping one other,” said Dr Yi-Chang Chiu, founder of Metropia.

“This is a unique opportunity for Houstonians to lend a helping hand to their neighbors and show the heart that our great city is known for. If you have an extra seat available in your car, we encourage you to sign up at the website and share a ride with someone in need.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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