Goroo Could Be Your New Best Friend

Web site shows parking info, live weather and carbon footprint

Sure, "Goroo" sounds strange, but the RTA is hoping the odd word will soon become as popular as "Google" or "Yahoo."

Goroo (pronounced "go-ru") is a mix of the words "go" and "kangaroo," which is meant to hint at speedy travel. It's the latest online tool provided by the Regional Transportation Agency.

Goroo.com offers step-by-step instructions on how to get from Point A to Point B in the Chicago region. While there are other websites that do this, Goroo provides users with travel options that consider not just time and speed, but also convenience, cost, and environmental implications.

The new website, still under development, consolidates travel information from several sources, including the CTA, Metra, Pace, Standard Parking, the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) even offers weather info (since walking to the train station may not be a good idea in the rain), and the Center for Neighborhood Technology determines the impact on the environment.

Goroo.com allows Chicagoans to choose between commuting only by car or driving to a nearby commuter train station. Drivers can avoid highways, toll roads, and/or traffic jams, as the website will soon provide real-time traffic data.

In about a month, the site will also feature walking and bicycling routes, so commuters will have a broad range of options when choosing their itinerary.

Still though, why "Goroo"? Wasn't a better name available?

"Some of the names considered were TakeMeThere, TripTopia, TripFusion, and GoZipZoom," RTA spokesperson Diane Palmer told the Tribune.

Those names were rejected though because the domain names were taken or focus groups didn't respond well to them, Palmer said.

Matt Bartosik is the editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and a "between blogs" blogger.

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