Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah has launched an app aimed at increasing carpooling for skiers and snowboarders heading up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Developers hope the Snowbird RIDE app will alleviate canyon congestion and improve air quality, reports KSLTV.
Designed to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and traffic congestion in Little Cottonwood Canyon, the R.I.D.E. (Reducing Individual Driving for the Environment) program rewards you when you take the UTA Ski Bus or carpool with 3+ people to Snowbird.
“It’s the first of its kind in the ski industry, not just Utah,” said Brian Brown, Snowbird’s communications manager.
Brown said it can take more than an hour and a half for people to people to drive up the canyon on a powder day.
“We’re here every day. When the road’s bad, we’re feeling it. It’s hard for us to get to work. It’s hard to get home,” said David Amirault, marketing director at Snowbird.
Users who are driving to Snowbird can add their car to the app and tell people how many seats are free. Other users can see which seats are free and request a ride up.
The users can meet at designated points across the Salt Lake area. The users earn points by carpooling which they can redeem for things like merchandise or half-price lift tickets. They also earn points if they ride the ski bus.
Brown said they hope to shorten drive times and help reduce pollution.
“We can calculate, based on that particular car and model, how much carbon is being reduced by you driving up the canyon and you can track that throughout the year, so you can see that at the end of the ski season, kind of an immediate difference you made in the environment,” Brown said.
In its first day, the resort said there were 309 rides. And the app could easily be expanded to accommodate other resorts. In the future, they hope to partner with other ski areas to make the carpooling technology available across the country.
Snowbird RIDE is available now for iOS devices, an Android version will be available soon.