In 2004, the inhabitants of the Toulouse conurbation made 3,635,000 trips a day, 64 percent of which were by private car with, on average, 1.27 people per car. At the time of measure implementation, car pooling was not common practice, although the public transport authority Tisseo recognised the opportunity to develop car pooling as a complementary service to public transport in order to achieve a reduction in private vehicle traffic.
In August 2003, the not-for-profit car-pooling association COVOITUVAL had been set up by volunteers in the south east of Toulouse, to which the public transport authority Tisseo and another local authority gave financial support in November 2003. This enabled the association to invest in the development of sophisticated software to identify car-pooling teams.
The measure was therefore designed to:
- improve the efficiency of the existing car-pooling activities of the non-profit organisation;
- propose an integrated solution between public transport and car-pooling solutions; and
- create, in the public authority structure, a dedicated service to manage and promote car pooling as a complementary service to public transport.