Skiers and snowboarders trying to help the environment have been given a little boost., the Lake Tahoe-based online lift ticket retailer, has been awarded a grant from the Placer County Air Pollution Control District (PCAPCD) to further develop and implement its ski- and snowboard-specific online ride-sharing program created last winter season.

Last season, SnowBomb partnered with [R201R, Kirkwood] resort to launch an online ride-sharing program. Kirkwood had nearly 2,000 members interacting online, and it is estimated that approximately 1,000 cars were kept off the region's highways by the end of the 2007-08 season.

The $25,000 grant, awarded by the PCAPCD, will be used to develop and market the user-friendly, online ride sharing software for use at several Placer County winter mountain resorts, including [R5R, Alpine Meadows], [R179R, Homewood], [R432R, Sugar Bowl], and [R419R, Squaw Valley].

The ride-sharing program allows registered users to search for and/or provide rides by date, time, point of departure, destination, and other details for other online users with similar agendas. Users also have the option to personalize their profiles in order to connect with like-minded individuals, such as smoker/non-smoker, early-riser/noon club, skier/snowboarder, etc..

Another bonus is that resorts are offering special discounts on lift tickets, rentals, and/or food and beverage to those who choose to carpool to the mountain. But the biggest beneficiary could be the environment: SnowBomb hopes to take 20,000 cars off the road this season, with a resulting reduction in carbon emissions.