Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ride Sharing- Robin Chase and GoLoco Make It Easy

Need a ride to the grocery store? Tired of driving alone with no one to talk to? Fed up with the gas-guzzling "I go it alone" attitude that's ruining our planet? Robin Chase of Cambridge, Massachusetts has a solution for you.

First, it was the revolutionary Zipcar in 1999. Thanks to Robin, renting a car for a few hours at a resonable cost was as easy as walking up to an ATM. With the motto of, "Wheels when you need them", Zipcar made it possible to be car-less, unless you really needed one. For urbanites, the concept was a godsend. No longer did they have to fight for parking or pay exorbitant fees to garages. They could get a car any time, any where when it was absolutely necessary.

Robin has stepped down as CEO of Zipcar and her newest project is GoLoc, an online service that matches potential drivers with potential passengers, taking the difficulties out of ride sharing.

GoLoco allows members to post trips, such as a short jaunt to the mall, to selected groups of friends, employers, colleges, and such. You choose who rides with you and who you accept rides from. Picture profiles, recorded voice messages, and rider reviews help the members select wisely using the same criteria people use in everyday life for decision making and trust building.

GoLoco is part high-tech college ride board and part social calendar, with a dash of environmental conscience. The online service -- which went live on April 22, 2007, Earth Day -- brokers trips between friends, neighbors, and strangers, then automatically divvies up the cost, the seats in the car, and the carbon dioxide emissions.

Robin is on a mission to change the way we think about driving and car ownership. Today, 75 percent of commuters drive alone, according to the 2000 Census. But Chase is banking that high gas prices and growing awareness of global warming may mean Americans are finally ready to open up their single-occupancy cocoons and share their vehicle-domain through GoLoco. Buying and maintaining a car is an expensive proposition. According to Chase, 20 percent of household income is spent on cars. "What an amazing crunch we've set up for our society," she says.

To be part of the wave of the future visit GoLoco at www.goloco.org

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