Another sustainable development comment – Taxi-buses

I’ve decided to make another suggestion to the Sustainable Development Blog.

What we have is a bus system that doesn’t travel the entire island, and at times can be inconvient. Most people avoid it because it is too rigid and inflexible

Then we have a taxi system that continues to be unreliable. There are often times that you cannot get one for an hour or so, or worse, they don’t show up at all. Even if you get a taxi, they can be very expensive.

What we need is to look towards the future and realise that public transport should combine the best of the two to create taxi-buses.

Take the best benefits of a bus – shared rides, and the best benefits of a taxi – door to door service without specific stops and combine each with computer technology, cellphones and GPS.

Worldchanging.org (the ultimate sustainable development website) wrote a great article on the concept: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/004398.html

Imagine a taxi-bus that you called a service, and told them where you are, and where you are going. The operator then enters your departure and destination points into a computer. That computer’s software then compares your route with all the other travellers routes. Then, depending on where you’re going and where you’re coming from, the computer updates taxi-bus drivers via GPS to give them directions on their overall route for picking up multiple passengers going to similar destinations.

This allows people to share taxi-buses efficiently with the driver’s on-board systems being updated every 30 seconds or so with new optimized route information.

It’s not as rigid as the present bus system with set schedules and stops, and it’s not as expensive as riding in a taxi yourself. Essentially you split the costs amongst multiple riders by slightly increasing the distance that everyone has to travel rather then the direct route you’d have in a taxi.

Using technology, you could optimally recieve text messages to your cell phone on when the taxi-bus will arrive (via GPS calculations) and potentially even order it without the requirement of calling anyone, just enter the request into your phone.

Bermuda needs to start thinking outside the box to solve our problems.

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