Car sharing à la carte

Do you want to make your commute to CERN easier, while saving money at the same time? Would you prefer not to spend a quarter of an hour crawling round the CERN car parks looking for a space? If so, read on: this article might well be of great interest to you.


We would like to draw your attention to a well established, albeit sadly under-used, method of transport: car sharing.

To promote car-sharing, the GS Department has stepped in to call on the services of the Swiss firm Green Monkeys which specialises in this user-friendly and intelligent transport scheme. The company’s slogan is:  “Car-sharing as you want, when you want and as much as you want”.

The principle is very straightforward. To use this car-sharing facility, you simply complete your free online registration with Green Monkeys, providing the following details: your journey, departure time, arrival time and days of the week, and indicating whether you are a passenger or driver or both.

“Until now the major problem has been to find somebody with compatible car-sharing requirements,” explains Mélanie Ducret, project manager at Green Monkeys. “The problem is that there is no communication between the databases of the large number of car-sharing Web sites.  The advantage of Green Monkeys is that it operates locally within specific employment catchment areas. In the local area, in addition to CERN, we are also working with the HUG, the Red Cross and the Cantonal administration, for instance, and they are all using the same database.” If they wish, CERN personnel can therefore extend their options to include people from other local organisations and firms, which increases the chance of finding car-sharing partners.

This system also makes life easier on the financial side. Every Green Monkeys user has an online account. Costs are therefore shared by crediting or debiting your account depending on whether you are a driver or a passenger. Green Monkeys manages all the transactions via Paypal: “There is a fixed price for passengers of 28 Swiss centimes per kilometre,” explains Mélanie Ducret. "Out of this amount, Green Monkeys retains a handling fee of 8 centimes and the balance of 20 centimes is paid to the driver."

Another strong point of Green Monkeys is the return journey guarantee. What happens if the driver of your return journey is unexpectedly unable to drive you home? No problem! Green Monkeys undertakes to find a solution, either by identifying another driver, or by covering the cost of public transport or even, if necessary, of a taxi.

You will be able to obtain more information at the Green Monkeys stand at CERN from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 20 March at the entrance to Restaurant No. 2, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday 21 March at the entrance to Restaurant No. 1, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, 22 March at the entrance to Restaurant No. 3.

by Anaïs Schaeffer