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)