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Hitchhiking Green?


I’m pretty excited about a new technology that will be launched soon in the US: it’s an iPhone app that utilizes GPS and Web technologies to help reduce traffic by hooking riders up with drivers who have extra seats. Avego was created by two guys in Ireland. Maybe in Ireland there isn’t the fear around hitchhiking that there is here in the States? I’d like to know. Granted, it was 20 years ago, but I used a structured ‘hitchiking’ service when I lived in Germany. You signed up a shop, signed away your life, gave them your credit card or cash and they coordinated a ride share for you. It was common practice. I think maybe that practice went out of style here around 30 years ago.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. I would be thrilled to be able to log into my Avego account and check for ride shares to NYC or Poughkeepsie or Boston or Albany or even a weekly trip to a health food store or organic farm that is more than 5 miles away from my house. I think this would not only be a great way to conserve fuel but would also be a potential way to build community. In fact, I’ve thought of a whole list of pros (and a few possible cons).

Avego Pros:

  1. according to the demo videos should be simple and quick to use
  2. could save money on commuting and travel costs
  3. optimizes fuel consumption when compared to driving solo
  4. emission reduction when compared to driving solo
  5. gets us thinking about a future with limited fossil fuel consumption and using technology to build better infrastructure
  6. community building

Avego Cons:

  1. some risk involved when driver or rider is unknown
  2. would not want to discourage train/bus travel
  3. might have to risk getting to know our neighbors… 🙂

When Avego comes online, I’d like to start a local beta trial. If you are interested, please post a comment and forward this post to all potential riders and drivers in your network!

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About Heather Flournoy

I am a writer, social media connoisseur, environmentalist and professional marketer. My personal blog is KatonahGreen.com and my professional website is ReallySocialStrategies.com. I love people's stories, and a passionate cultivator of connections, both for myself and helping others to connect. Tell me who you are, what your story is, and I'll tell you who you should talk to. In my own view, I know some of the most interesting, colorful and profound people in the world. You know who you are. Besides all the above, I am proud to say I am a working class single mother who raised a beautiful daughter. I connect deeply with animals, especially horses. I love music, coffee shops, farmer's markets, growing my own food, sustainable agriculture, broad thinkers, the healing arts, and dive diners.

Discussion

One thought on “Hitchhiking Green?

  1. There already is an carpool application on the iPhone called Carticipate, it has been out of beta since October and has been released in 62 countries.

    We gave a talk on carticipation at the Silicon Valley iPhone Developers’ Meetup in Palo Alto last week and posted the video here (select “high quality” mode):

    Posted by Steffen Frost | December 1, 2008, 7:43 am

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