Monday, April 23, 2007

Hitchhiker Sub-etha Thumb

I may have blogged about this before, but I couldn't find it, so here goes....

It's sometimes occurred to me that it should be a solvable problem to identify the issues that prevent people from sharing transportation more, and to address them.

As I sit or stand waiting for a bus, I see car after car with a single occupant, often with a look of intense boredom, presumably from the slow-moving traffic.

In its simplest form, why don't I take a sign, write where I'm going, and hitch a ride there? I see a few issues, and I may be missing some crucial ones.

  • I don't think regular van pools really hit the spot for me. I need to be able to work flexible hours, both going to and coming from work.

  • I would only want to get a ride with someone who was going to a place within walking distance of where I'm going.

  • The driver and the passenger should really have some form of mutual trust relationship.

  • The driver and the passenger should have the option of filtering each other based on interests and personal preferences.

  • The driver and the passenger should be able to make the hitchhiking occasion without guarantees on either side. It should be spontaneous and non-binding.

  • There should be consequences if the driver or passenger are abusive, such as by driving too fast or recklessly, going off on errands, being rude or obnoxious, etc.

  • If the system is very successful, it should be possible for a single person to easily switch between being a driver or a passenger any day.

  • Drivers should have the option of getting some form of compensation.

  • I have some thoughts about addressing some of these issues, but I'd be curious to hear if anyone else has thoughts on the subject.


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