The idea for ciCarpool began when a group of human resource professionals met with the Morton Economic Development Council in the fall of 2008. Gas prices at the time were hovering at $4 per gallon and large employers in Morton were struggling to recruit and retain commuters. An investigation of carpooling options led the group to iCarpool, a web-based program used by several metro areas throughout the country.
With an understanding that a ride-match program could only be successful if a large number of people utilized the system, the Morton Economic Development Council approached the Tri-Country Regional Planning Commission and the Chamber and Economic Development professionals throughout the region to see whether the program could be launched for all of Central Illinois. The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission agreed to house the task force and provide staff time and expertise to the initiative. The new ciCarpool Team, comprised of Chamber and Economic Development leaders and business professionals from throughout the Peoria Metro Area, was successful at securing grant funding and implementing the new program for the region in early 2011.
Another reason for ciCarpool is to ensure that the central Illinois region has clean air. Carbon emissions from vehicles contribute to ground level ozone, which is a pollutant that affects the repiratory system of individuals.