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New campaign looks to nurture daily carpooling

By Deng Jingyin (Global Times)

16:45, February 16, 2012

Photo from Global Times

To avoid the nightmare of fighting to purchase a train ticket to her hometown of Jining, Shandong Province for the Spring Festival holiday, Guo Mingyan, a 19-year-old student at Beijing City University, decided to carpool.

Despite various concerns, Guo finally decided to try a carpooling scheme launched on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging service, and successfully found a person who was willing to accommodate those looking for a ride home.

"His Weibo account is verified by Sina, which makes a huge difference for me. I do believe that being brave enough to trust others is a virtue these days," she added.

Guo is only one of thousands of participants in a campaign to connect carpoolers. Drivers post the schedule of their trips and available seats while passengers look for carpoolers by posting the name of their workplace and destination.

According to Wang Yong, initiator of the carpool campaign, nearly 18,000 people have registered since its January 10 launch, and a total of 500 car owners offered free rides to more than 1,000 passengers during the festival.

"Our next step is to introduce this short-term campaign into daily life beginning in June this year, a move to promote a green lifestyle, ease traffic congestion and strengthen mutual trust," Wang said at a press conference in Beijing Tuesday.

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