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By Hannah
#4345
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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By CodeThumper
#4403
I think this is a great idea!

How would you prevent overlapping routes? How would the city be divided? What would be the cost?

Just some things to consider.
By Hannah
#4408
Thanks for the feedback! :) Glad you like the idea....as for the routes, perhaps all the drivers could network and be assigned specific regions of the city.....maybe customers could page a non-specific driver (like when a page is sent to one driver, it is sent to all, and the driver closest would be responsible?)....? Don't know.
As for cost...good question. I wonder what kind of funding it could receive from governments.....If a ticket cost 20 dollars a week, and the system were very popular, I bet that might suffice? Hrmm...how to cover the cost of all this expensive stuff...I just don't know. Some kind of advertising would definitely help cover costs---local bars , schools, and businesses could advertise on the shuttles, and could help sponsor them?
Have any ideas? :)
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By Steve
#4409
I'm still waiting for some of our Asian visitors to chime in. As far as I remember, there are a lot of cities where a similar system exists - small cabs/buses patrolling the city, they hold at a crossroads, shout where they are going, and everyone who wants to go there simply jumps in. Your system is much more sophisticated, but it would be interesting to hear some experience with existing transport nets.
By Rishi
#4414
Steve is right. Such 'cabs' are quite common in Indian cities.The only trouble is some routes are so popular that people will be perched on the roof as well.

It is a sight to see two or three of these sort of leap-frogging each other to snatch the customers. The driver and the conductor are usually on an incentive. Hence the mad scramble. Accidents are common. Overloading is the rule rather than the exception. Pocket picking is a minor hazard you have to watch out for.

Of course you may have to change once or more to reach some remote part. But many depend on these 'unauthorised' service for their daily commute.

It is nice to hear the conductors yelling the destination quite often in more than one language. It is not so nice when they start yelling at each other over passenger sharing.

Rishi
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