Network Rail is trialling a new scheme encouraging its employees to ride share regularly to work and contribute to each other's motoring costs.
A planned network of up to 300 drivers commuting to the company's head office in Milton Keynes would be able to carry up to three other colleagues every working day.
The scheme, run by ride share software developer Faxi, equips participants with an app enabling them to locate and message potential passengers without giving away any personal information. If a sharer accepts, a contribution to the driver's costs then transfers between digital wallets.
The transaction also enables the company's car park operator, APCOA, to give automatic access to reserved and low cost car bays on that day.
Network Rail calculates that, when fully operational on a daily basis, the scheme could cut its carbon footprint by some 1000 tonnes a year.
The initiative follows a report from the Policy Exchange think tank, which identifies existing car commuters as 'low-cost alternative transport' for co-workers – with particular benefit for those living in rural areas.
Faxi cites research suggests that nearly half of those surveyed would be happy to journey share with someone they know.
Policy Exchange is calling on the Government to incentivise the use of ride sharing to work by introducing commuter tax benefit schemes, along the lines of existing childcare vouchers, or allowing companies to give their employees travel vouchers or credits for ride sharing.