This week, Bay Area commuters who catch the train at the Dublin/Pleasanton station were introduced to Scoop, a mobile app that connects commuters, who can then carpool to the station and park for free in a reserved parking spot. The project was developed as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC’s) 511 Carpool Program, which is managed by WSP USA.
“BART’s parking lots fill up around 7:30 a.m., and commuters rush to get to the station so they can get a parking spot,” said Rachel Zack, innovative mobility lead for WSP. “This creates two problems for BART: an inability to encourage a spread of the peak travel period in the morning, and a parking capacity issue.”
According to a 2015 survey, 99 percent of BART passengers drive alone to the station. That fact prompted an interest in finding ways to encourage more commuters to carpool. Rather than create more carpool permit spaces, 511 Carpool Program staff chose to partner with Scoop Technologies, Inc., which developed a mobile app with the capability to verify carpool behavior.
Now, commuters who use the app and partner with other carpoolers have a guaranteed parking space held for them until 10 a.m.
“BART’s peak capacity issues are challenging for commuters. Many people would prefer to ride the train later in the morning, but don’t have that option because there is nowhere for them to park,” Zack said. “Scoop allows commuters to connect with each other, share a ride, and skip the early morning rush to the station.”
Scoop matches its users with their carpool partner the night before and sends a printable placard to the drivers headed to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station to display on their dashboard. Scoop then sends BART the list of carpooling license plates for enforcement the following day.