The Whole Idea is Great
The idea of carpooling has probably been around since the horse and carriage. It’s a very simple concept in which two (or more) passengers share a vehicle to reduce the number of trips required. In turn, this can have a very positive effect on more than just our two passengers, such as reduced traffic congestion, less automobile emissions, real human interactions, and will ultimately result in more money to spend on coffee, shoes, haircuts, vacations, real life experiences, pogs, or vintage beer cans if that’s your thing.
The Importance of Rideshare
Keeping a vehicle can be very expensive, especially in a city. You pay insurance, and gas, and a monthly payment, often for parking, highway tolls, etc. I know offsetting this even a little bit would help me out a whole lot.
Imagine if 25% of the people on your daily commute were carpooling. Would you get there 25% faster? Have more time to spend with family and friends? More time to write that song? Climb that mountain? Bake that bread? Read that book? It all sounds pretty good to me.
Now that you know a simple rideshare can save you money, time, and the planet, are you convinced?
Just like a Greyhound, but not long, boring, overpriced, and unreliable.
Hitchhiking is Hot
While rehashing old methods is not necessarily innovative, the systems and organization being used for these new ways definitely is.
Take Hitchplanet. They provide a beautifully organized and well-designed interface where drivers or hitchers can connect to find rides. Drivers post their routes, cost, and available seats, and hitchers can book seats and pay, right there through the website. Just like a Greyhound, but not long, boring, overpriced, and unreliable.
More to Come
As adoption picks up, and more people get involved, these systems will only become stronger.
There are so many interesting ways we can split costs, share burdens, and work together to create bigger and better things. Now, anyone can take one of these ideas, build a website, and - with adoption - many people can take advantage and participate. Many of these services are providing people a way to share the load, the price of gas, a story, or an experience with anyone who is interested.
The most interesting thing about all this is that none of these ideas are new; Uber is a modernized taxi, and ridesharing is an idealized form of hitchhiking.
While these ideas are important for the progression of society, there is still a lot of work to do. There are new communities popping up everywhere, where you can borrow circular saws, skiis, blenders, or tables. Personally, I can’t wait to see what’s next for the sharing economy.