I had gathered enough information…statistics about public transport and congestion costs in L.A., and price quotes from the guy at the tracking company, to support my great idea. I decided to find an authority to share it with. But what are people who know about these things called? I surfed around until I found my answer: Urban Planners. I wrote a letter to a professor in urban planning at UCLA…no response. I read through the faculty profiles at USC and tried again, after all, someone must realize this was THE BEST IDEA EVER.
This time I got a reply:
Your idea is called dynamic carpooling, or “on the fly” carpooling. The technology exists and in theory such a system could be established. The problem is human behavior and instutions — people are unlikely to share rides with other they don’t know (personal safety, driver behavior); there are huge liability problems; the added inconvenience is generally not worth the dollar savings.
That’s sad to hear…but I couldn’t really believe it. Happy to hear that my idea, although not original, had a name, I decided to see if anyone had tried it…after all, what would an expert in the area know anyway?