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Old 11-23-2010, 09:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Private/Public Rideshare software

For a while, I have thought it would be great to help start up some sort of local ride-sharing or car-sharing program.

However, I have no idea how I would start something like that. I also don't know if my immediate area has the population density to support it or not.

Today, somebody shared with me some software designed to connect drivers and passengers. It's really an interesting idea.

Take a look.



Here's a link to their page.
Videos - Watch some videos about Avego Shared Transport.

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Old 11-23-2010, 10:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's a great idea, and a public service. But before I tackled it myself, I'd try to see if there's a public service organization that would be willing to do it. We have a network in the Bay Area that matches riders with carpools, vanpools, etc. With hundreds of requests weekly, and an incredible variety of starting and ending times and locations, our demand would quickly overwhelm a single volunteer. If your demand is low, you may be able to handle the publicity part of it with Craigslist.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The trouble is that there AREN'T any public service groups in my area that are into this sort of thing.

Traditionally, the closest I can even think of is that there are a few odd groups that deal with shuttling retirees to social events.

With the software, nobody really has to be in charge of it. You just need to publicize the idea enough to get a critical mass of people using it.

If only a handful of people are using the software, nobody is ever going to be trying to get to the same place at the same time. But once you get enough people using it, it has the potential to really change how people drive.

I heard about this software from a TRANSITION GROUP. Those groups focus on a grassroots transition away from the use of fossil fuels, whether for transportation, food, etc. They also believe in learning how to, and doing, things for onesself.

That group is the closest that I can think of that would be really interested in working out some sort of local car/ride-sharing program. So, yeah, I guess I am working with them on this.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't get your hopes too high on a project like this.
Years ago, I enrolled in a gov't supported carsharing scheme.

The only request I've ever gotten was wether I wanted to be removed, as no-one had been interested in sharing my commute.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think it really has POTENTIAL.

The big trick is having enough people involved, otherwise it won't work.

The fuel prices summer 2008 really made people think different about their driving. As fuel prices continue rising more fuel-saving schemes will pop up.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's all dependent on whether you have the critical mass to keep the ball rolling - pretty iffy in your rural area. If there's a public agency that will host the software, and enough people enrolled to make a few matches, it's worth your effort. I shared rides my entire working career, with my worst lapses (motorcycling, half the time with a passenger) still being fuel-efficient.

The Bay Area has mass to spare. There are informal pick-up spots where drivers pick up riders to fill carpools for the reduced bridge toll. I think it's amazingly gutsy of passengers and drivers to pick up total strangers on a daily basis, but it's a system that works here.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't think anyone needs to "host" the software. At least I didn't see a reference to it. (maybe I missed it.)

Related to all this is "slugging", an informal carpooling in Washington DC. There, it's drivenn (pun intended) by thick traffic and then need for 3 people in a car to use the carpool lane.

About Slugging

What's really interesting about it is that it seems to be something that naturally evolved as a response to traffic in the area. It has its own rules and etiquette.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Wife and I have hitchhiked a few times and when we got a car we decided we'd return the favour by taking hitchhikers whenever we have free seats. So far, we've taken only a few people for short distances (mostly students, and one very old lady), and only one person for more than 300km.

I've looked at Polish and European webpages for hitchhikers, for example RoadSharing.com or AutoStop.pl/.cz/.sk. Once your register, you can fill in when and where you're planning to go, what time, how many empty seats you'll have and if/how much you want for the fuel. Or you fill in where and when you want to go. Then the service tells you if there is a match. Other than one-time trips, there are also cyclic commutes. We haven't used these services yet (there are so many!), but from monitoring them I've noticed that there seems to be enough interest to keep it going.

The software in the vid is cool, but maybe you could start with a web service for your area? Post where and when you'll be driving, and get it advertised. You have to start from somewhere...
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Do you use facebook? I used to use facebook ridesharing stuff like zimride to do this despite my remote location at college.

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