April 30th, 2007

Carpooling for barflies?

Robin Chase, the founder of the car-sharing company Zipcar, has launched a new transportation service called GoLoco. The Globe wrote about it last week. A sort of Facebook for carpoolers, GoLoco “fuses ride-sharing and social networking,” says the article. “The online service … brokers trips between friends, neighbors, and strangers, then automatically divvies up the cost, the seats in the car, and the carbon dioxide emissions.”

I’ve been a member of Zipcar for several years, and this GoLoco business sounds great — especially for bar-hoppers like me! How many times have I wanted, for instance, to get from a bar in east Somerville to one in Jamaica Plain and thought, ‘If only I could find two or three other people who wanted to do the same thing, I wouldn’t have to spend $35 taking a cab by myself across greater Boston!’

I’m guessing GoLoco isn’t exactly going to bill itself as a designated driver locator for tipplers — the scenario the Globe article uses to illustrate the service is an oh-so-clean-cut carpool to a contra-dance in Concord, MA — but isn’t it a great thought? Like, what if cabs got in on the network? A driver could pick up three or four people in the same neighborhood and take them to a general location they’ve all requested via cellphone or Blackberry. Traveling between Boston’s far-flung neighborhoods would suddenly be faster and much less expensive. Not to mention much safer than drinking and driving.

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