Rural Carpool is designed from the ground up to help citizens in a small rural region
self-organize carpooling and cost-sharing for occasional trips to larger towns or special events.
Rural Carpool is
not like a taxi, nor like Über or Lyft, nor like any bus or transit service -- it works where
those systems are most challenged by low population density. Rural Carpool simply helps our members
self-organize occasional longer trips to larger towns, decreasing the costs for every traveler.
Our testbed region is the North Shore of Nova Scotia*, where we
identified most of the small region's villages, towns, cities, and travel routes.
constructed 115 fake identities, and created thousands of past and future Trips within the region,
to help you (and us!) get a sense of how Rural Carpool can work.
People looked at the Demo, and found it
compelling, signed up, and gave us great feedback.
If you're NOT from the North Shore of Nova Scotia, then please do NOT sign up --
since it'll do you no good.
For interested visitors from afar, like you, the working
currently your best bet for understanding the project. You can contact michael @ ruralcarpool .com for more information.
Before doing that, we recommend that you
first familiarize yourself with the region's geography,
so you can understand the towns that any pretend Demo Member is coming from, and might be wanting to go.
* The home region of Michael Jensen, the founder of Rural Carpool.
To help rural travelers in defined geographic regions self-organize to be able to share their trips
to population centres,
save $$$ and CO2, and strengthen their communities.
Rural Carpool's Current Status:
We have 90 members, and are still building tools to encourage participation, and postings of Trips other Members
can join. You now can post and find Commuter Trips -- a natural audience just waiting to catch on. Messaging will soon
include texting to your phone, if that's your Preference. We are delighted with the platform, and it just keeps
getting better -- our members report few problems, but have not yet gotten in the habit of posting planned Trips --
and they would like more reminders (something we had tried to NOT do more than necessary). So the next month will
be focused on measured outreach and encouragement.
For anyone watching closely, "Reset Password" is available -- and many other sweet improvements. Our Commuter module is
and so I'm holding off any big announcements or promotion to the Membership and online until that module is in place. It will be
a dramatic opportunity for serious savings of $$$ and CO2 -- and the potential for sequential one-way organizing,
for some kinds of trips to a larger town. "Spend the day in Halifax" becomes pretty possible, as do drop-offs and pickups at the
airport, if the commuters are willing to be slightly inconvenienced, to share the substantial $$$ and CO2 costs -- not to mention
routinized commute-sharing by two or three commuters going to roughly the same destination!
We are just days away from making "Rural Carpool Version 1.0" available to our Members, and to bring new Members in.
Streamlined processes, easier editing, a new Commuter Module, and most important of all -- the "Can't Log In/Reset Password"
We're still testing -- but it will be the first "full version" of the system, in which every primary part works the way
we want it to. It's worth mentioning that 1.0 is not the final version -- we will be adding more tools, better engagement,
an Event Module,
and more. We'll announce "1.0" soon -- I can't wait!
Just had a Zoom meeting on the Current Status, available here. The Overview ends and the
Current Status reporting begins at 12:38. One of the best
suggestions was a hyperlocal "meet & greet" potluck, to meet the other folks in one's immediate community who are part of the
close-by Carpool Community!
What a great idea! I look forward to the first one -- I'll bring coleslaw!
In the hubbub of our soft Launch, I didn't update the Current Status! We are live, and working out the startup bugs --
including some very clumsy Registration processes, that have stopped some folks from finishing their Registration,
or left them thinking that they were already Registered....
That said, folks are registering, and soon our engines will be firing on all cylinders!
Sign up now!
We're still well short of our goal of 100 signups; that said, we do have nearly 40 Member
signups from the Tata/RJ/West Branch/Earltown centre of the North Shore region.
That's almost enough to have reached the necessary threshhold for a viable hyperlocal community.
My concern is that if new Members don't see possibly useful Trips, they'll be less likely to post
their own upcoming Trips for sharing, and then the system will wither, because it can't grow to meet
the needs of the Membership and the community.
This, combined with the need to test and retest the automated systems before we launch, is why I'm setting
Thursday, July 14 as Soft Launch Day. It's a couple of weeks later than I'd hoped, but it gives me a chance to
promote, test, and polish further.
Skip to 12:38 if you're already familiar with Rural Carpool.
(Michael recommends x1.25 or x1.5 speed!)
Rural Carpool Context Video (8 min 14 secs) (from when it was still called "Rural RideShare"):
Above: Video overview of Rural Carpool (formerly "Rural RideShare") (8:14), by founder Michael Jensen: the rural context,
a tour of the site itself, and a call to action, encouraging you to Sign Up for the July 14 soft Launch!