GoLoco: Carpooling Meets Social Networking
By EV World
The problem with carpooling is fear. No one wants to ride with a stranger.
Enter GoLoco, a for-profit start-up that aims to merge carpooling and Internet-based social networking. Created by Robin Chase, the concept is to match up people who share common interests -- as well as locations -- who may, from time-to-time also share common destinations, thus opening up the opportunity to carpool to all sorts of places, not just to and from work.
Chase shares her idea and its genesis with attendees to the 2007 Meeting of the Minds conference in Oakland this past September. Citing the director of the Woods Hole Institute and NASA's Jim Hansen, she notes that we have less than ten years to arrest our greenhouse gas emissions to avert climate disaster.
Given the contribution of automobiles (approximately 20% and rising) to carbon dioxide emissions, finding ways reduce the use of fossil fuels is an important tool in slowing climate change; and the fastest way to do that is to have fewer cars on the road by increasing the number of passengers per vehicle.
Building more fuel-efficient vehicles isn't enough either. She points out that if everyone switched to a hybrid car within the next ten years -- outside the 4-9 year climate action window -- we would still only reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by a paltry 5 percent. Clearly, cleaner, more energy-efficient vehicles alone won't solve the problem.
Hence the idea of shared rides, where people who know each other and share common interests can begin to also share transportation where and when appropriate.
Chase sees GoLoco as a means by which to help accomplish that end. She lays out some of the specifics of her concept in this twenty-minute speech, which you can listen to in its entirety using either of the two MP3 players above, or by downloading the file to your computer hard drive for transfer to and playback on your favorite MP3 device.
She also refers to a video that helps pique public curiosity in GoLoco, and we've made that video available below.
It's a concept definitely worth investigating and we encourage you to not only listen to Ms. Chase's presentation but to also visit the GoLoco web site, as well as similar ride and carshare initiatives.