Could This App Change The City Commute?

I heard recently that Australia’s average commute time is continuing to get longer and is one of the worst in the world. ‘Commute’ in this context referring to car travel to work. Our commute time is a strong reflection of our planning, urban design and transport infrastructure, and I’ve posted regularly around how our neighbourhood design has a fundamental impact on our personal health and wellbeing.

Location Average commute time
NSW 64 minutes
Sydney 71.5 minutes
Victoria 55 minutes
Melbourne 61 minutes
Queensland 50 minutes
Brisbane 58.5 minutes
SA 50 minutes
Adelaide 51 minutes
WA 52.5 minutes
Perth 57 minutes
Tasmania 40 minutes

[Courtesy of Angus Kidman, Lifehacker]

When you research the commute figures from around the world there aren’t many that top Australia’s.

commuter pain

And it’s not just our time that is wasted. Think of the compounding impacts of spending all of this time each week sitting in a car;

  • lost productivity for your business; some businesses in the US have rolled out their own staff ride-sharing apps and are saving big bucks annually;
  • lost family time; yes I know sometimes the commute might actually be the only ‘quiet’ time you get, but let’s keep it big picture;
  • crazy emissions; lots of people chugging along in their own cars, at speeds that are often the least fuel efficient for the vehicle;
  • infrastructure costs; roads, roads, roads with all their bells and whistles

I’ve been searching for a while for an App that facilitates car sharing or ride sharing that also has a friendly interface and is usable where I live. So I’ve just downloaded Zimride, a US-based App that on the face of it appears usable in any country. [This App includes a ‘pay per ride’ function which I’m electing to turn off.]

zimride

The way I see it, the commute can be turned into a ‘captive networking’ opportunity, whether you’re giving a friend a lift, a work colleague, or a neighbour or a stranger. And each shared ride is one more car off the road.

I’ll definitely report back on this one [via Comments] – I’m not really sure what I’m in for.

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One response to “Could This App Change The City Commute?

  1. Yes, ridesharing apps that work in real time are always going to work better than ones with set arrangements, simply because things change (sick kids, you need to work back, flat tyre etc). Check out Sidecar and Lyft also, but don’t think they can be used in Australia yet. There is pushback from the authorities in California (a disruption to business as usual!), but there is also support from the City of San Francisco.

    With an app like Sidecar, any one of the thousands of seats in single-occupied cars can be made available – both the driver and the passenger have the flexibility to use it in real time, and the transparent feedback system for both parties means you know something about who you’re in a car with, because others give public feedback ratings.

    In terms of infrastructure, its also about leveraging underused personal assets – how many people own cars worth thousands that are used about 2-3 hours out of a 24 hour day? Sidecar is letting people turn their idle asset into a taxi. Other car-sharing platforms like GoGet enable access over ownership, freeing up funds.

    The sharing economy is on the cusp of disrupting just about EVERYthing!

    http://www.shareable.net
    http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com
    facebook.com/shareabilitysa (sharing news for Adelaide/SA)

    http://www.side.cr/
    http://www.shareable.net/blog/sidecar-disrupts-cabs-with-real-time–p2p-ridesharing-app
    http://www.fastcompany.com/3013497/fast-feed/la-tells-uber-lyft-and-sidecar-to-cease-and-desist-theyre-not-going-anywhere
    http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/2013/06/26/shareable-cities-resolution-passed/

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