ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The commute could get less costly for some drivers who carpool.
A new app set to go live Friday, January 24 promises to make it easier to access discounts. It’s called, GoCarma.
“The app will know when you’re in the car,” says Natalie Bettger with the North Texas Council of Governments. “In order to get the discount, another person in the car has to have the app. Or if they don’t have a smart phone, they can request an occupant pass.”
No cameras, says Bettger. The app uses Bluetooth technology already built into smartphones to make the process simple and seamless.
“Oh, we think it’s going to be a lot easier and hopefully there’s fewer folks that have to call in to say they forgot to activate their HOV,” says Bettger. “And hopefully we get more customers that start carpooling, and getting this credit that maybe haven’t because they didn’t want to use the more tedious technology that we were working with.”
Right now, drivers who take advantage of area Texpress Lanes have to register trips 15 minutes in advance in order to avoid paying the higher fees assigned to single occupancy vehicles.
Even so, Kyesha McDonald insists it’s worth the extra cash. “Yes it is! Yes it is!” she shares with a laugh. “Especially in the evenings when you’re trying to get home… it’s like: `whew! yes! every day.”
She also admits the current system is cumbersome. So she’s curious about the app that might even encourage her to carpool.
“With an app it could be easy,” says McDonald. “It’s right on your phone. We always have our phone. Just depending on how easy it is to get in the app and actually do what we need to do.
But, I think it’s a good idea. I’m intrigued.”