Policy ideas for brave public servants

Any widespread integration of hitchhiking or casual carpooling systems into the transport mix requires a change of public consciousness as much as it does the practical necessities which are easy (as thirty years of Oakland and Bay Area 'hitchhiking' has shown). This may require:
1.  An educational campaign to emphasize the collective physical and mental health benefits of travel as a form of community, set against the ethical issues of knowingly contributing to pollution, early deaths and global heating by pursuing one-person per vehicle motor industry consumer propaganda ideals. ("Wouldn't your journey be more fun if you shared it - and better for everyone else?")
2. Good information about how to re-think work, shopping and leisure needs according to a more sharing transport system, especially in places where geography or existing infrastructure is already advantageous (eg. an arterial road linking a series of towns in a down a narrow valley or on a peninsula). 
3. Emphasis that these are steps to reduce demand and put significant pressure on the oil industry, as well as encouraging a parallel shift in the automobile industry so that it reorganises around repairing existing models, not designing new ones.  Some adaptations to existing models could include the introduction of screens (with intercom systems) such as those used in some taxi fleets, thereby minimising virus transmissions which sharing the road. 
4. Storytelling  helps! Transport mutual aid is more effective when there is cultural knowledge (or capacity) to ensure its continuation through the generations. Sharing examples of when hitchhiking works is part of this process.  


One of many mitfahrbank springing up in Germany (sometimes destination signs are provided)

A few noteworthy examples of hitchhiking and casual carpooling systems

The Canadian Gulf Islands.
There are hitchhiking points and different forms of organised lift giving on Salt Spring, Bowen, Pender and Galiano Islands, with high levels of public support. There have even been 'save our hitchhiking point' protests when  the Provincial government have tried to discourage it.  

The Netherlands has a number of liftshalte (in Amsterdam, Zoetemeer, Gronigon and Utrecht) as well as some where the signage has been withdrawn but the points are still used. See https://hitchwiki.org/en/Liftershalte (accessed 11 March 2020).

Germany and Austria  - There has been an increase of mitfahrbanke 'hitching points' in a number of rural locations, to help alleviate transport poverty and social isolation. Usually a bench or shelter and adjacent to a bus stop to make use of existing pull in spots.

- Kansas. 
An innovative short lived pilot project using an app to facilitate flexible hitchhiking and carpooling options, booked or spontaneous. Included a corporate hitchhiking sign to demonstrate membership in urban contexts.

Eastern Cape, RSA. Hitchhiking is practiced by many including into big cities such as Port Elizabeth and Durban, yet sometimes comes into conflict with taxi companies who feel their business is being stolen, thus leading to forms of intervention and monitoring by the police and transport authorities. Durban has a hitchhiker shelter/art installation at Cato Manor where many hundreds of people thumb every day.