Santa Clara County is trying to make carpooling cool -- or at least attractive to its employees.
Starting Monday, 17,000 county workers will be able to get a ride to and from work for just a dollar each way through the mobile app Scoop.
Scoop users sign up for a ride in the morning and evening commutes, and the firm's app then assigns them to a car pool. Anyone can use the service, but Scoop specifically contracts with cities, counties and businesses to make it easier and cheaper for employees to participate. According to Scoop's website, Santa Clara County is investing $10,000 in the partnership to subsidize the costs of employees' rides in hopes of getting cars off the road and easing congestion.
"If we can get a number of those employees to be carpooling, it will benefit not only them but the environment and our roads and freeways," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager. He said participation in the county's current ride-share program had dropped so low that they stopped keeping track.
"If we have great success [with Scoop], then I think you'll find the old standard way of doing carpooling is going to get a little more outdated and people will want to go with this high-tech option that is now available," Yeager said.