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Buses are difficult to justify in rural areas because it's
almost impossible to fill them to capacity on a fixed
among the scattered points of interest, and taxi cabs
expensive because the overhead costs aren't shared
multiple riders, and each rider's fare has to help absorb
cost of the driver's marketing and downtime. (I'm
from my experience in a backwards, conservative, "axe
the tax" part of the world like Florida in the United
More enlightened areas of the world don't have these
problems.) Proposed is a transportation system used to
to work on a daily basis (like a bus) with custom points
interest (like a cab). The route would be chosen with a
sophisticated algorithm. As in current ride-sharing
systems, a prospective rider logs into the website to
document their home address, work address, and
window. Service would be started if enough riders are
available to justify the route. Every time an additional
rider is added to the route, the differential costs would
evenly distributed to all riders, old and new. If you pick
a rider on your route, your cost of getting to work may
drop. If you lose a rider, you and the others on your
will have to absorb the costs. Eventually, the system
begin to resemble an organic bus route with dynamically
changing stops as needs change, and the efficiency of
system would be superior to both a cab (sharing the
and a bus (pinpointing the needs and discarding
This is our local service. Never used it, but it looks pretty much exactly as described in the idea. Also I am sure I have posted this link on the HB before so this is not a new idea even by HB standards. Sorry! [pocmloc, Jun 07 2012]
||I'm pretty sure this has been tried many times,
including in the UK, where there have been various
"dial-a-bus" schemes that tailor bus routes to
||....or just get rid of taxi/bus licensing laws
||you do realize that that's the only thing stopping your not-that-novel idea from happening (or happening more often). There are plenty of places with illegal cab/bus services. The illegal guys are cheap, and I bet you can just call them if you need them (but only if you've been a customer before). It doesn't need to be regular like a bus service and it doesn't need to be on-call like a taxi, it can be both. Whatever the driver is willing to do, just call him. Maybe it'd be more for a called-in pick-up. Maybe less if you're a regular customer.
Doesn't need any special system. Just a guy and a van (or minivan). That's it. The available profit is sufficient that people would (and already do illegally) start such businesses.
do the math. think of fuel costs and maintenance costs. Could easily charge cheap tickets/per mile and still make a profit.
||In St Lucia they have "buses" which are actually small passenger vans, and they just drive around. There are set times they will be at certain stops, and if you want to get on elsewhere you flag the bus down. You can tell the driver where you want to get off, and it feels like sharing a taxi with 10 people. Cost is $.75 to ride. It works well enough there because there is only one major road but I'm not sure how well it would work in a spread out suburban area.