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Professionals and Academics utilizing carpooling to network and build communities to reduce the environmental impact



Method: By creating a network of commuting professionals and academics, checked for safety or risk (police record and interview), a basic professional/ educational profile (linkedin©) can be organized. At a riders’ network office, the interview can take place where an ID is made. A GPS application like (Waze©) is used for navigation. Within the software, a driver will type in their planned navigation route. People needing rides will type in their needed route in advance. The application will give the driver the choice to pick up the professional/ academic or a group of people. In real time, the driver will know how long it will take to pick up the rider and the rider will know to be ready. Comments can be made about the driver or rider and long term carpooling can be arranged. Within the car, there is a drivers’ safety issue, a tablet PC’s can be mounted and the software would include voice interactive GPS to keep the drivers’ eyes on the road. Driving versus riding costs can be considered.

Other carpooling apps exist but lack the professional/ academic initiative for networking to collectively reduce carbon emissions. If this plan is instituted in a professional manner, this campaign can take off. It would be recommended to make bumper stickers for group members and benefits can be discounts at gas stations, AAA and for tablet PC’s. 

Long term goal:  Spread the application globally and reduce carbon emissions through professional and academic networking for the commuter and those running errands. 

Category of the action

Building efficiency: Physical Action

What actions do you propose?

It has long been known carpooling will reduce emissions and the number of cars on the road. By considering the method described above, the attraction of networking, having organization, professionalism and the fact safety risk will be overcome, carpooling can be a trendy and popular. People can get to know their communities - directly connecting with others in their neighborhoods. The economic incentives include sharing the cost of transport when gas prices are rising. Surely, it is not the behavioral norm in most developed countries to carpool or give rides. When considering the possibilities of networking or meeting people of interest the concept becomes more attractive. 

Who will take these actions?

Initially professionals and academics who want to network will take advantage of this program. Through publicity, the bandwagon effect will create a positive domino effect. This concept should be promoted by businesses (Tablet PC companies, server companies, petroleum companies, AAA and GPS companies). 

Where will these actions be taken?

The concept will start in a small college town (i.e. Emporia, Kansas) to test the network and develop the servers and software before it goes to the masses. After getting a footing the concept can national then global. 

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

It is hard to project the reduction in emissions from carpooling. If say every commuter picked up 2 people if driving from Emporia to Kansas City a third of the emissions from the given vehicle would be released. With fewer cars on the road there would be less traffic. The commute would be shorter and therefore the emissions would continue to decrease. 

What are other key benefits?

Networking!! Improved business!! Sharing of academic or professional ideas and concepts on the commute or the short drive.  Connecting with people in your community. Unfortunately, in this fast paced society there is less time to be social and connect with others near you. A drive or commute is an excellent opportunity for all of the above.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Project Costs:

  •          Make agreements with linkedin© and Waze©
  •          Server space
  •          High Speed Internet
  •          Office
  •          Staff
  •          Software and network management
  •          Legal Representation and accounting
  •          Make bumper stickers and ID’s 
  •          Costs can be paid for through membership, donations,       Department of Energy, sponsors (oil companies) and research grants.

Time line

This general proposal can be phased in within months in a small town, go national within a year and international depending on the countries simultaneously over ~1-3 years. 

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