COMMUTER CONNECTIONS is a regional network of transportation organizations coordinated by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Commuter Connections was created in 1974 as the Commuter Club, providing one of the first computerized carpool matching systems in the nation. The Commuter Club network consisted of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), General Services Administration (GSA), and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. COG provided the direct ridematching services to the public. This service was and still is provided free to anyone who requests ridematching information. In the 1980’s, the local government agencies of City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Prince William County, and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission joined the network. The Commuter Club network members used COG’s ridematching software and shared one regional database for ridematching. It was in the mid-1980’s that the network changed its name to the RideFinders Network.
By 1994 the network had grown in membership to include all Washington D.C. area local governments, a few federal agencies, several Transportation Management Associations, and Local Jurisdictions from the Baltimore region, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. In 1996 and 1997, the services provided by the RideFinders Network had grown beyond just carpool/vanpool matching to include transit route and schedule information, a regional Guaranteed Ride Home program, bicycle to work information, park-and-ride lot and HOV lane information, telecommute/telework program assistance, InfoExpress commuter information kiosks, commuter information services through the Internet, and employer services. It was in 1996 that the network changed its name to COMMUTER CONNECTIONS.
In 2003, a regional Mass Marketing effort began through Commuter Connections in order to educate the public on transportation options to and from work. Commuter Connections also coordinates the regional Bike to Work Day and Car Free Day events and also coordinates an annual Employer Recognition Awards program. A regional carpool incentive was introduced in 2010 under ‘Pool Rewards and the program was expanded in 2012 to include a vanpool incentive. Commuter Connections projects are part of a larger vigorous data collection and analysis activity that documents regional transportation and emission impacts and is included as part of the regional transportation planning process.