Rush Hour The next time you’re stuck in traffic, look into the cars around you. Six seat sedan…only one person….18% capacity. Eight seat van…two people …. 25% capacity. In general, we run our highways at less than 25% of their capacity! Try to run a train or an airplane at 25% full. It won’t work. Mass transit? Sorry... a 1920's solution to a 2020 probelm. But if we could double the number of people in each car, then half the cars would just vanish! OK, how?
FINES If you drive past a Rush Hour Check Point with only one person in your car, you pay a $ 100 fine (charged to your car registration). Two people in the car: $ 20 fine. Three people in the car: Free. Four people in the car: $ 20 prize. Five people in the car: $ 100 prize. Some flexibility is needed in the rules. Lower fines? A couple of Free Passes each month? Two seat sport cars? Emergencies? But how do you fill up your empty seats? Use the RideShare program.
RideShare I need to go to work. I phone RideShare Central and enter my route code #12: i.e. I need to go from 123 Elm Street to 321 Main Street. The next appropriate RideShare car is diverted to pick me up. All done via GPS and voice navigation. My c/c is dinged $ 0.20/mile. Maybe there is no RideShare car going my way? I walk to 135 Elm Street and take a parked RideShare car. I may, or may not, need to pick up and drop off people on the way. When I need to go home, I phone RideShare Central, enter route #13, and voila…my ride home.
FREEWAYS A “freeway” is a highway free of traffic lights! That’s OK during regular traffic, but it’s a terrible idea when it gets crowded. Four lanes merging into three generates gridlock, as cars inch forward at 5 mph. So, put traffic lights on the freeway, and when necessary, turn them on. Set up 500 foot long NO PASS zones with traffic lights at the end. Stop one lane of traffic, allowing the other three to move forward at 35 mph. Alternate the stopped lanes. This would double the cars/hour on the “freeways”. A fully dynamic system would not stop traffic, just slow it down into 25 car “trains”. Need about 2,000 feet/train. The trains would be merged in the lane change zones. Same approach would work for construction areas and traffic accident sites.
FLEX HOURS Finally, institute flexible work days and work hours. Almost everyone works four ten hour days starting at 6, 7, 8 or 9 and ending at 5, 6, 7 or 8. Work four days, get one off. Add "work at home" programs and branch offices closer to home.
Let's see how traffic reduction is doing: Fines = - 20% + RideShare = - 20% + Freeways = - 20% + Flex Hours = - 30%. TRAFFIC REDUCED OVER 75%!!!
COST = $ Billions SAVINGS = $ Trillions
The future of the automobile is even more promising. Self driving cars as seen in DARPA's Urban Challenge. Or a RideCentral Traffic Control System that always knows where my car is, where it's going, and insures I never hit a red light. And the ENERGY SAVINGS!! A third of our energy usage in this county is for transportation. If implemented, these four proposals would cut that 75%.