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Dunedin's inner-city commuters will be encouraged to travel to work together as a way of adapting to some of the major changes to parking in the city.

A ride-sharing programme will be promoted by the Dunedin City Council early next year as a way to reduce the cost of commuting into the city.

As part of planned shake-up of the city's parking, about 150 previously free parks will become paid ones and some all-day parks will be time-restricted.

More changes are likely.

Dunedin City Council transport strategy manager Nick Sargent said it was hoped the programme would encourage people to change the way they travelled.

Commuters will be able to use an application on their phones or on a website called Smart Travel to find others driving to and from work in the same area at the same time, Mr Sargent said.

Already operating in other New Zealand cities, the application is owned by a Canadian company called Ride Shark.

A council employee would administer the service in Dunedin but otherwise it ''basically'' ran itself, he said.

A trial of the service has already been run with University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic staff, although it had attracted fewer than 100 users.

''Because you need to match with other users there needs to be large numbers hitting the website to make it a success, which is why we are gearing up for a launch and promotion in February.''

The council would spend about $2000 a year on the service, part of which was funded by the NZ Transport Agency.

It is not the first ride-share programme the council has tried to promote. In 2011, a ride-share parking system for the city's tertiary area was dumped after it was found to be only marginally successful and frequently abused.

Mr Sargent said the council hoped the ''strong'' push to encourage commuters to use the service combined with other factors such as the price of petrol and the ease of use would mean the programme was a success.


The DCC after destroying/taking away hundreds of free carparks by turning them into paid parks or cycle paths, thinks the sheeple ratepayers will ride-share or take their massively inefficient and loss making buses. Bullocks. Vote them out!

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