Carpool app serving Reno aims to ease Tahoe Reno Industrial Center congestion | nnbusinessview.com

Carpool app serving Reno aims to ease Tahoe Reno Industrial Center congestion

RENO, Nev. — It's no secret: As the number of jobs keep climbing and the population keeps growing in Northern Nevada, commuters are seeing a significant uptick in traffic congestion.

This is especially true for those traveling to and from the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC), the largest industrial park in the world at 107,000 acres, sprawled roughly nine miles east of Reno-Sparks in Storey County. Most notably, TRIC is home to tech giants Tesla, Switch and Google.

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, more than 30,000 vehicles travel between Reno-Sparks and USA Parkway every single day. The main entrance to TRIC is the USA Parkway interchange off of I-80.

To help alleviate snarled commutes to TRIC and elsewhere in the region, Scoop, a San Francisco-based rideshare company, has revved up it services in Northern Nevada.

Unlike rideshare companies Uber and Lyft, Scoop is a carpooling service. Scoop's algorithim identifies the most efficient door-to-door trip for carpoolers, who can chose to ride or drive.

Anne Dreshfield, head of communications at Scoop, said the company has been operating in the Reno-Sparks area since mid-January.

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"The area has seen rapid growth, particularly with large employers opening factories, data, and operations in the industrial center," Dreshfield said in an email to NNBW. "For many of the individuals working at these facilities, they're commuting longer distances and would benefit from sharing a carpool with a fellow co-worker instead of driving alone."

According to the center's website, there is approximately 11 million square-feet of industrial space now in use by almost 130 companies at TRIC.

"Traffic has increased on USA Parkway as the industrial park has continued to expand," said NDOT spokesperson Meg Ragonese. "With many area employees traveling to and from work in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, we also see very heavy traffic on USA Parkway during shift changes."

This past September, NDOT opened the USA Parkway extension, which extended the previous six-mile-long USA Parkway by more than 12 miles to reach U.S. 50 at Silver Springs. All told, it created an approximately 18-mile-long, four-lane roadway between I-80 and U.S. 50.

While the extension has undoubtedly eased some congestion, the accelerated development at TRIC has a continually rising number of vehicles on area freeways.

"Due to the location of the center between Reno-Sparks and Fernley, many of the employees are traveling a fair distance to work, anywhere between 10-50 miles," Dreshfield said. "We're thrilled to help make commuting more enjoyable, convenient, and faster for them, as well as help lessen congestion in the greater region."

Bucking the trend

According to the Brookings Institution, a research group on Think Tank Row in Washington, D.C., more than 76 percent of Americans drive alone to work every day while another 9 percent carpool with someone else.

Scoop's co-founders and brothers, Robert and Jonathan Sadow, were in the minority prior to launching the company in 2015. Living in areas with dense commuting corridors — namely, San Francisco and New York — steered them toward creating Scoop.

Since rolling into Northern Nevada in early 2018, Scoop has already put more than 1,500 carpools on the road in the greater Reno-Sparks area, Dreshfield said.

In addition to taking cars off the roadway, Dreshfield said their carpooling service unlocks opportunities for commuters to forge friendships.

She added: "We've found that when commuters start carpooling to work with Scoop, they meet new people, have more energy every day, and make the most of their commute, rather than spending that time alone in their vehicle."

The Scoop app is available for free on iOS and Android, or commuters can visit takescoop.com.

HOW SCOOP WORKS

Download: The Scoop app is available for free on iOS and Android, or commuters can visit takescoop.com.

Schedule: Carpoolers can schedule separate morning and evening trips to fit their work schedule, and choose to ride or drive to meet their daily needs. Carpoolers split the cost of the commute.

Get matched: Scoop’s algorithm identifies the most efficient door-to-door trip based on the fastest route, nearby carpoolers, carpool lanes, and more.

Backed by trusted connections: Scoop conducts vehicle history checks on every driver and connects commuters with neighbors who often work at their company. Full feedback in the app fosters a community-driven approach to safety.

Source: Scoop