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Probably, yes. But right now I'm gunning for the low hanging fruit. The argument that cars are overused does not hinge on whether carpooling is a fruitful endeavour or not.

After all, it is not impossible to imagine that the reason carpooling works at the moment is that our present automobile fleet provides ridiculously excessive capacity. If the only people who had cars were the ones who actually needed them, there might not be enough slack in terms of cargo capacity and passenger space to enable carpooling, unless you deliberately designed your city planning and business practises around it. Which may or may not be worth the bother.

Now, I do think that carpooling will be worthwhile, even in a low-car infrastructure. But unlike cornucopians, like Julian "copper can be made from other metals" Simon, I like to accompany my policy recommendations with some back-of-the-envelope arithmetic showing that I'm at least in the right ballpark. And I just don't have the information to do that on carpooling.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 11th, 2010 at 09:51:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... place during the transition, vehicles to support that existing carpooling will be among the "essential needs" for private transport vehicles.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Nov 12th, 2010 at 09:04:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. But the whole thing is heavily path-dependent. If we start applying the full power of modern industrial society towards building rail, then we could easily transition to a low-car infrastructure in a short enough time frame that self-organised carpools won't have time to show up.

Of course, we could make it a matter of policy to organise and incentivise carpooling during the transition. Which is an excellent idea, but not required for the transition to work.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Nov 12th, 2010 at 10:40:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... it was a short-hand for organized systems backed up by cellphone/internet front ends, as opposed to self-organized carpools.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Nov 12th, 2010 at 04:38:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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