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A world first: A technology project developed in Montreal that combines carpooling and street parking

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 6:33:00 PM

(Netlift) - Quebec-based planned-transportation company Netlift today launched an innovative pilot project in partnership with the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI). The initiative, made possible with the support of the Government of Quebec, the City of Montreal and the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie is a world first: a solution to a large employer's mobility challenges that combines carpooling and street parking.

The pilot project was developed to address challenges of parking, mobility and employee retention at the MHI resulting from the loss of approximately 100 parking spaces. Seeking an effective, rapid solution, the MHI partnered with Netlift, which via its technology platform pairs employees for carpooling and in turn optimizes available parking spaces.

To expand the reach of the initiative, street parking spaces near the MHI have also been reserved for the carpooling project, with the co-operation of the City of Montreal and the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie. Parking enforcement officers will use licence plate recognition technology designed by Genetec Inc., a strategic partner of Netlift, to ensure that only carpoolers use the spaces dedicated to the pilot project.

"Netlift is very pleased and proud to be behind this innovative project that will help solve the mobility issues currently faced by the MHI," said Netlift President Marc-Antoine Ducas. "By combining carpooling and street parking and incorporating licence plate recognition technology, Netlift has delivered a simple, effective solution that will also reduce the urban automobile population and greenhouse gas emissions. We think many companies and cities will see the potential of this solution, which is both practical and environmentally responsible."

The Quebec Ministry of Economy and Innovation has provided $350,000 in financial assistance through the Innovation program, the aim of which is to support companies, primarily SMEs, in implementing their innovation projects and commercializing their innovations.

"At the MHI, mobility is a major challenge in terms of recruiting and staff retention," said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region. "Besides offering a practical, made-in-Quebec solution, Netlift's pilot project counters the problem of solo driving, which is widespread in every major city in the world. Ingenuity and innovation are among Quebec's great strengths, and our government is committed to leveraging them in the fight against climate change and in all our efforts to protect the environment."

Richard Campeau, MNA for Bourget and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, noted: "The Government of Quebec has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37.5% between now and 2030, and carpooling is among the solutions available to us to reach that target. This pilot project will allow Netlift to demonstrate the operation of its carpooling application in a context of parking scarcity. We are convinced that this technology showcase project will lead to significant benefits both here at home and internationally."

And Éric Alan Caldwell, the City of Montreal Executive Committee Member responsible for Urban Planning, Mobility and Public Consultation, explained: "Montreal must seize all available opportunities to improve mobility and help more people get around, more efficiently. Any solution that focuses on reducing reliance on single-occupant vehicle trips, such as carpooling, is an ideal avenue for Montreal. This partnership with Netlift will enable us to test this project, which offers promising benefits for the city, and we are pleased to be part of it."

Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough Mayor François William Croteau added: "The borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie is very active in implementing bold solutions that encourage residents to reduce their dependence on solo driving and to choose active and shared transportation solutions. It therefore makes perfect sense for us to support an innovative carpooling initiative that aligns with our actions and commitments, and was also developed here in our borough."

Mélanie La Couture, President and CEO of the Montreal Heart Institute, said: "We have introduced various initiatives at the MHI to encourage active transportation among our staff, but managing parking spaces remains among our concerns today. So the solution offered by Netlift couldn't have come at a better time, because it enables us to propose options that meet our needs, as well as those of our employees."