Improving mobility and reducing single-occupancy vehicle use across New York State
After launching the 511NY Rideshare program in 2010—designed to provide personalized commuting assistance and reduce single-occupancy vehicle commuting for New York City residents—we worked with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to expand the program statewide.
Through a multi-channel communications strategy and important organizational and employer partnerships, we reached millions of commuters with information about the 511NY Rideshare program and contributed to a dramatic decrease in overall traffic congestion and carbon dioxide emissions on New York’s roads by streamlining software, overhauling customer relations management systems (CRMs), and employing data-driven targeted communications campaigns.
Expanding a program originally designed for residents of the greater New York City area statewide required a nimble, responsive approach and targeted outreach. While city residents may be familiar with carpooling, vanpooling, public transportation, and other alternatives to single-occupancy travel, the need to increase awareness among residents throughout New York State remains significant. As a means of reducing emissions and subsequently improving the health and wellness of residents across the state, NYSDOT needed scaled communications solutions that were both successful and potent.
Through various technology solutions and platforms, including Salesforce and AWS, we moved the legacy 511nyrideshare.org web application and all its data to the cloud—in just two weeks—and built innovative outreach campaigns to help commuters visualize the environmental benefits, cost-effectiveness, and greater availability of rideshare and mobility services across New York State.
We created new modules for tracking and administering the Clean Air NY program, Guaranteed Ride Programs (GRPs), vanpool formation services, and new marketing and communications platforms. Since its launch, 511NY Rideshare has continued to build dynamic reports to monitor the progress of individual services and enhance analyses, including the organization of reports into dashboards for easy viewing by different groups, including NYSDOT, outreach managers and staff, and evaluation/program reporting staff.
Our robust data collection and dashboard implementation enable increasingly personalized communications, including automated communications based on both individual user history and environmental considerations—like air quality action days and construction-related road closures—that streamline ease of use and increase engagement with 511NY Rideshare.
By employing mobile-first design and strategic communications, we helped NYSDOT support New Yorkers' commuting options that makes sense economically, environmentally, and personally.
Our communications platform integrates member engagement data with the rideshare system database, revealing trends and opportunities that enable 511NY Rideshare to encourage long-term behavioral change. Through these tools, 511NY Rideshare effectively consolidated nearly four million single-occupancy trips, averting more than 180,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
From a technical standpoint, we have continued to evolve the AWS environment, now operating a serverless-first approach that lets us offload infrastructure maintenance and security while reducing operating expenses—which in turn allowed for the addition of many other services, including a data lake, Amazon Connect for customer service, and Amazon WorkMail for internal communications without increasing the hosting budget. Through our proactive approach, 511NY Rideshare has an independent account within the AWS environment—an important future-proofing element that removes the worry of transitioning infrastructure if the contract were to change vendors.