I marvel at the strides of technology. I am using a laptop computer while I watch Netflix (through the internet with streaming technology) with a extra tiny computer sitting close by. Most people call this extra tiny computer a smartphone. I have been trying to write 3 articles over the past month but just yesterday, I realized that it is not 3 articles but only 1. The theme of all the articles in the fields of education, injustice, currently called just US (just-ice) and transportation are all the same.
The purpose of technology, to me, is to make the world more efficient. Efficiency increases productivity and decreases waste. Let's start the tale of 3 articles into 1 with transportation. I love my lyft rides. Personally, I try my best to make my passengers comfortable considering we are 2 (or 3) strangers. Most of the time, not all of the time, it works! I marvel at how far technology has allowed people with cars to connect to people who need rides. Public transportation is more efficient (than horse and buggy or walking) but it can not provide point to point transportation like the ride share industry. The first ride share was just 1 point to another point than Uber came out with pool allowing the rides to become even more efficient. The point of technology is to take existing systems, like transportation or education (or just US) and make them even more efficient.
When I am not helping my passengers get to their destinations efficiently, I drive in the most inefficient of manners to take my child the 16 miles outside the city limits to school. Some would say - well that could be efficient since we are going from 1 point to another but considering at least 12 other school bus systems also drive to the same location, I say to myself, almost everyday, there has got to be a better way!!!
How did I get to driving my son to school? I found out quite quickly that the School District of Philadelphia is not obligated (by PA statute) to provide transportation if the selected school is more than 10 miles from the edge of Philadelphia. I tried contracting with private companies who let me know they only take contracts from school districts. Finally, I thought of my beloved SEPTA. As was stated in the previous paragraph, SEPTA is more efficient but can not provide point to point transportation. SEPTA can get my passengers 90% of the way there but Chester county does not include those "urban" sidewalks in their planning budget. My passenger/child would have to catch a Lyft for 4 city blocks anyway. That's how I became the soccer mom (minus the minivan) driving my child to school.
Every single day we see the Upper Darby School district bus or the Wallingford (near Media, PA) county school bus also drop students off at school. If the school districts had a ride sharing "pool" we could lower the transportation costs for everyone. Alas, it would become MORE efficient! Unfortunately, there is no business incentive with government funds to become more efficient. Lyft and Uber, ride sharing companies, are looking to eventually make a profit. Profit is the business incentive to become more efficient. Amazon has demolished the brick and mortar retail business so they can become profitable while reducing the waste of stores, employees and multiple registers. While I watch multiple school districts send multiple buses for 1 or 2 students a piece, I ask myself "There has to be a better way!"
I quote from https://www.businessinsider.com/failing-bus-systems-segregation-in-schools-2017-7, "Transportation is an enabler of choice," Kristin Blagg, a research associate at the Urban Institute think tank, told Business Insider. "Transportation opens up options that previously might not have been available because you can now get to them in a meaningful timeframe."
Now, can I get an Uber Pool please???