I’ve decided to take one of my hobbies/passions to the next level. Next month, I will start a non-profit to help communities invest in infrastructure that will reduce traffic congestion and use less fuel, thus reducing dependence on oil and reducing pollution. One of the startling results of the 2010 Census was that 75% of commuters drive alone in their car to and from work each day. If half of the single-occupancy drivers take on a passenger, we reduce total number of vehicles by 20%. That’s a lot fewer cars on the road and a lot less fuel burned, and the savings increase as the passenger-to-vehicle ratio increases.
The goal of this new organization is to promote carpooling, vehicle co-ops, and the motor pool concept. The focus will be on working with local governments to expand their existing public transit systems to support real-time point-to-point passenger transport. The vision is to offer an attractive alternative to individual personal vehicle ownership. By consolidating passengers into a medium capacity vehicle, we see significant savings in fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs, while also offering the passenger-centric model of a bus system. Passengers can enjoy the convenience of a bus without the need to conform to a fixed route or fixed schedule. They simply request a pickup and drop-off, and the best matching vehicle comes to them.
Since this is not an easy problem, the web and mobile applications required to facilitate this solution will be created as open source projects. This way, the developer community can collectively drive progress, contribute toward a common solution, and share the reward. As a result, local vendors can leverage the software solution to minimize capital investment required to begin offering a service to their respective communities.
There’s only one problem – I don’t have a name. Please help me get this organization off the ground by offering suggestions for a name. Once I have a good name, I’ll get the ball rolling with official filings and all that jazz. I’ll be looking for suggestions in the comments of this post as well as the #namemynonprofit hashtag on Twitter. Please help and tell a friend!
ps. if you’ve built a non-profit before, I would love some help! please teach me what you know 🙂