ITS Research Program, UW

Seattle Smart Traveler: Dynamic Ridematching on the WWW

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TransNow (U.S. Department of Transportation)
Washington State Department of Transportation


Seattle Smart Traveler (SST) was the ride sharing component of the SWIFT project and demonstrated the ability to use advanced communications networks to facilitate dynamic ride sharing for employees of a large organization. Dynamic ride sharing is the concept whereby commuters are linked with one another for the purpose of sharing a single trip together. Unlike traditional shared ride arrangements, a dynamic ride-sharing system does not seek to place commuters in a permanent arrangement. Rather, a dynamic system allows individuals seeking to share a ride to learn of other commuters who share their trip (origin, destination, travel times) for just one specific trip. The trip can be a one-way or a round trip, and the shared trip is generally implemented within a short time after making arrangements.

SST used the University of Washington, the largest employer in Seattle, as the site for the dynamic ride sharing demonstration. The SST program allowed users to quickly and easily learn of others who shared their transportation needs for any specific trip or set of trips that they wished to make. In addition, it allowed users to send an e-mail message to any or all of these individuals direclty from the SST application.

The SST system is no longer operational; however, a demonstration of the project can be viewed by following the SST link and clicking on the off-line demonstration that shows an example of a typical SST interaction.

Further information about the results of the SST program can be found in papers that were presented at the 1996 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems and at the 1997 Transportation Research Board Annnual Meeting.


Dailey, D.J., D. Loseff, D. Meyers, and M. Haselkorn. "Seattle Smart Traveler." Presented at the Third Annual World Congress On Intelligent Transport Systems, 14-18 October 1996, Orlando, Florida.

Dailey, D.J., D. Loseff, D. Meyers, and M. Haselkorn. "Seattle Smart Traveler." Presented at the Transportation Research Board 76th Annual Meeting, 12-16 January 1997, Washington, DC.

Dailey, D.J., D. Loseff, and D. Meyers. "Seattle Smart Traveler: Dynamic Ridematching on the World Wide Web." Transportation Research C, Vol. 7, pp. 12-32, 1999.

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(November 24, 2003)