Reasons for Ridesharing

Ridesharing

Ridesharing has become more popular in recent years, as oil costs have risen and environmental awareness has spread. Ridesharing, sometimes known as carpooling, typically involves a driver who agrees to pick up one or more passengers at their home or other public location. Some use it for routine commutes to work or school, where the driver and riders share a common destination. Others use it for occasional lengthy trips. Saving money and social networking are commonly cited reasons for ridesharing. Its popularity is most affected by the availability and quality of public transit, the distance to be traveled, the cost of travel and the participants' income.

Rationale

Ridesharing reduces the number of cars on the road, thus reducing air pollution and traffic congestion. It can also help commuters save money while fostering social connections.

Effort Required

Low: Participants simply sign up and reach a payment agreement with the driver.Medium: Local organizers network people (coworkers, neighbors, etc) and create a pick-up/drop-off arrangement.High: Mass organizers, such as a municipality, advertise and create a system (preferably online) that networks strangers with each other.

Benefits

Ridesharing saves money for both the riders and the driver by reducing or eliminating the riders' need for a car, and defraying the costs of car ownership and driving for the driver. It also provides a social network for participants.  

Risks

Sharing a ride with strangers can be risky, particularly for women and elderly people. This can be addressed in an online network by implementing a rating system for drivers, such as those used for online merchants.Back-up plans are needed for unexpected circumstances (sickness, emergencies) so that riders are never stranded.

Action Agents

Ridesharing can be implemented on a small scale between friends, coworkers and neighbors, or on a large scale by an online coordinating website. This site can be created and managed by a city government, a non-profit agency or a private company.

Costs

Costs of program advertising and website design and maintenance.