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"Metrocab" or "Urbanflow" taxi/bus transport Printer Friendly Version
Getting around in the city is often tedious or expensive (most often both!). A combination of bus and taxi would be a welcome reprieve to the frequent inconvenience of the bus and the high rates of a cab.
Small shuttles would be deployed daily. Patrons could rent buzzers/pagers of this service by the day, weekend, week, or month. Basically, it would act as a group taxi that could be called to a specific location at any given time (decided by hours of operation, of course). Customers would be picked up wherever they desired and would be dropped off at their exact destination (as opposed to a bus stop that a bit of hike to their home).
Once a customer activated their pager, the shuttle driver's computer system would alert him/her to the call. The customer's pager would have a locating device, allowing for precision of direction. The shuttle driver would respond by paging the customer with an estimated time of arrival, allowing for him/her to know how long of a wait there will be. If any customers paged for a ride while the driver was en route to pick up another customer, the driver would page back how long it would be before said pickup.
These drivers would have to operate regionally and be connected with one another. This would be helpful to customers (obviously), in addition to providing group transport that cuts down on pollution. It would be particularly helpful in urban areas and college towns.
Reward: a few free rides. 

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 United Kingdom
Ring Pulls Printer Friendly Version
The old style ring pull I think went out of service in the early 80s and was replaced by the new version that remains attached to the can.
I do remember that the old style removable ring pull was a massive litter problem.
However for me the newer version is also a huge problem.
1. I have a beard and quite often when I drink straight from the can, I get my moustache trapped under the ring pull. This is very painfull.
2. The other thing I do not like about the ring pull is that when you open the ring pull, it forces the top into the can. Surely this must be un-hygienic!
Yeah I know I am drinking from the can anyway. But some poeple dont.
Solution: A plastic slider in the lid of the can. This could also be used to re-seal the can. Less spillages, last longer etc. Can also be re-sealed with one hand.

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Improved freight transit Printer Friendly Version
This idea is directed at the USA but might have application elsewhere.
I am proposing an idea to our government to promote the creation of a nationwide, privately run, rail shipping system that could significantly affect the energy cost and number of interstate trucks. The idea is a cross between the Interstate highways and Federal Express. The infrastructure would be developed and paid for by both the federal and local governments just as the Highways were. Initially it would only connect major transport hubs. Over time it would be extended to cover the same sites our current interstate system covers, possibly by using land contiguous with the highways. A major rail yard being set up outside each transport hub. The trains would only carry truck trailers that would be picked up at the rail yard and delivered to their final destination.
Where the Fed Ex idea comes in would be in the charter under which the schedules were run. Trains would leave on-time, whether fully loaded or not. Delivery at the rail yard would be guaranteed by the private firm running the system. This private firm would gain the concession to run the service by bid from the Federal government. They would be held to their schedules, rates and penalties by the terms of their contract and federal law, the ultimate penalty being loss of the concession and a fine. Payment for the concession would be used for repayment of the construction costs. Private trucking firms would supply the delivery to final destination and from source to the rail yard.
I suggest this idea for two reasons, although it may have several others. After talking with some friends who were truckers but have left the business, I found they were driven out by rising fuel costs and flat charge rates. The rates set by the major trucking firms make it impossible for small contractors to compete. This is the way capitalism works and eventually, when the competition is reduced, rates will rise again. This proposal would reduce the amount of fuel used for long distance transportation while overcoming the chief objection to rail transport, untimely delivery. Secondarily, it would decrease the number of heavy trucks on the interstates which would increase the safety and structural life of those roadways. I would appreciate your thoughts both on the feasibility of the idea and a method of presentation that might gain some considered thought by our government.
Reward: Fewer trucks on the Interstate and less air polution. 

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