Wednesday, June 08, 2011

It's summer, it's time to go "slugging"

No, I'm not talking about the World Champion, let me say that again, World Champion San Francisco Giants. And all you spoilsports who say it's not the "World Series" hey it's America, if you brand it it's true. I'm talking about Slugging sometimes known as "casual carpooling". I had heard of people picking up people randomly for before the bridge to save on toll on get to use the HOV lanes. But I didn't know that it existed in Washington D.C. and Houston until I read this article in Miller McCune that talked about the history and how even public transit agency covertly fund slugging organizers.

I love this quote:

“People are cooperating … to commute?” says Marc Oliphant, underscoring the novelty of what is going on here. “It’s like the opposite of road rage!”

It's amazing what a small shift in transit patterns through mechanisms like "Slugging" can do. This is really interesting:

Society always reaches first for the infrastructure fix — the costly highway expansion, the new route for the metro rail. But what if government could just nudge more people to do what they’ve done here, creating their own commuting cure within the existing system? Federal Highway Administration studies suggest that free-flowing traffic can be restored on a clogged highway simply by removing 10 percent of its cars.

Imagine what could happen if we took advantage of the roads and cars that are already present. I could share more, but it's worth a read to see how mass transit could be the peoples transit. Dynamic carpool services like my friend's company Zimride may be a technical solution to expand the people's mass transit. It's exciting to imagine a grass roots effort. I like it.


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