At the recommendation of Eric Britton, I have asked to join your group. When my request to apply was approved, it suggested that I give a brief bio. I hope the following is relevant.
My interest in transportation is in the field of ridesharing. I am the proprietor of a carpool service provider called Raspberry Express, (see www.raspberryexpress.com) a meeting-place based carpool formation system. Different to any other approach, we advocate that there should be meeting places where people get rides to their destination, without a trip by trip pre-arrangement. Most other service providers in this field work on the basis of ‘ride matching’. We are the ‘anti-ridematchers’. Our system is most similar to the slug lines in Washington DC and the casual carpooling in San Francisco. We’ve developed some intellectual property and have patents covering the business system that we have developed.
I am based in Auckland, New Zealand, though I was born in the UK and speak with a Canadian accent.
Each day 400,000 Aucklanders drive alone to work. They use up all the road space and cause hours of delay. With a relatively small reduction in the ‘Single Occupant Driving at Peak’ (SODAP) rate, we could have free flowing traffic and no delay. This could be achieved by each driver becoming a passenger one day out of four. The challenge is engaging with the drivers to get them to consider this change, and having simple systems that enable them to get into a carpool without high personal overheads. We tried to launch a pilot of Raspberry Express in Auckland, but so far have not got a large enough user group to be able to provide a reliable service. We persevere on minimal resources. What we have mainly learned from the experience so far is that it is difficult to engage with the commuting public (something I am sure you all knew).
We have recently formed the Ridesharing Institute, a non-profit organisation operating in the US and New Zealand (so far) with the goal of raising awareness of the potential for ridesharing to improve transportation system performance. We hope to achieve this by speaking out, by agitating for applied research, and by being a focal point for people and organisations interested in the topic.
You are welcome to follow the exploits of the Ridesharing Institute by ‘liking’ us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ridesharing-Institute/226523247393284. We also have a group on LinkedIn:
I am married and have two adult children. Ridesharing takes too much of my life, but it is like a scab…you have to keep picking at it. When I am not doing ridesharing work I am most likely working on a business strategy project for a client.