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Jun 19

Lehigh Valley Ride Share eNews

It’s a brave new world out there. It’s getting easier for those of us trying to drive less in the Lehigh Valley because it’s getting easier to share the ride all the time.
Here are some of the new terms.
  • Ride Sharing: traveling by alternative transportation (other than driving one’s own car by oneself). Includes intra-city bus traveling within the Lehigh Valley (LANta), inter-city bus traveling outside the region to Philadelphia, NYC or other cities (like Trans-Bridge, Greyhound or Bieber), carpooling, peer-to-peer seat sharing (such as Zimride ), car rental by the hour (such as ZipCar), peer-to-peer car rental (such as Getaround), walking, bicycling or any combination of these modes of transportation.
  • Carpool: usually organized by companies to assist employees get to work in each others’ vehicles or in vans owned by the company. Some companies such as Rodale have created sophisticated carpooling computer programs that facilitate ride sharing while providing data for encouraging cooperation and tracking what works. These programs could be further enhanced with improved communication techology providing real time information.
  • Peer-to-peer: arrangement between two people; such as a driver and a passenger traveling to the same destination (Zimride members use Facebook to hook-up for ride sharing together).
  • Hourly car rental: short term use of an automobile to supplement other forms of alternative transportation in order to avoid car ownership; may be either through a business such as ZipCar that maintains a fleet of vehicles or peer-to-peer like Getaround. Frequently used by professional couples to avoid owning two cars.
  • Real Time Information: location of vehicles, estimated times of arrival, routes and other data available in real time by computer helps improve efficient use of transportation options such as LANta’s Real Time Bus Tracker.
  • Transportation Phone Applications: phone app to assist a traveler find a seat on a bus, in a taxi, or in someone’s car going to his or her destination. For example, Zimride has released a new phone application to improve efficient use of taxi services called Lyft.
  • Collaborative Consumption: an economy based more on sharing goods than owning them. Improved technology and the increase use of social media, particularly among the young, has allowed people to mitigate the risks normally associated with sharing. Sharing economy spokesperson, Jessica Scorpio (co-founder of Getaround), “This intersection of sharing and technology has contributed to an “own less, use more” mindset, backed by environmentalists and economists alike.” The trend is very powerful as demonstrated by statistics like the drop of 19-year-olds with drivers licenses from 80% in the year 2000 to nearly 50% in 2010.

If you are interested in learning more about Ride Sharing in the Lehigh Valley, consider joining the Lehigh Valley Ride Share Task Force.  Our mission is to improve the efficient use of existing transportation options in the Lehigh Valley.  Email director@car-free.org today.

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