“When you Ride Alone, you Ride with Hitler”
A brief history on ridesharing
When you think of the term, “ridesharing” you probably imagine the obvious: sharing a ride to conserve time and/or resources, mostly for travel to work. But have you considered how ridesharing came about? Why we still ride together now?
In 2011, two UC Berkeley researchers wrote a paper detailing the history of ridesharing, entitled “Ridesharing in North America: Past, Present & Future.” The work breaks ridesharing into five phases:
1. WWII Car Sharing Clubs (1942-1945)
2. Major Responses to Energy Crises (1970s)
3. Early Organized Rideshare Schemes (1980s to 1997)
4. Reliable Ridesharing System (1999-2004)
5. Strategy-Based, Technology-Enabled Ridematching (2004 present)
Ridesharing began as a way to conserve resources for the war effort. Many times bulletins at work would arrange carpools and propaganda was wide spread. Posters like the one at right were frequently displayed.
In the 70’s, effort was concentrated on conserving fuel as a response to energy crises. HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes and vanpooling became popular during this time. Then, in the late 90’s, ridesharing became more focused on congestion mitigation. Online ridematching services were introduced in this phase as well as the traveler information services (IE “511”).
Currently, ridematching focuses on climate change and reducing the dependence on foreign oil. Real-time ridematching services are now gaining traction, as well as partnerships with large employers.
The document details each of these phases and discusses developments in each.
Ridesharing now is easy. Register for free with www.commuterconnections.org to be matched with those living and working near you. There are numerous incentives, including financial, for ridesharing. Plus, your employer may offer pre-tax deductions (ask your HR representative).
To learn more about your ridesharing options in Frederick County, head to http://frederickcountymd.gov/208/Commuter-Services.