On April 20th, Lawrence OnBoard made it’s first public appearance at the Earth Day celebration in South Park. We set up an information booth with a “Penny Poll”. I made cut-outs poppets of riders from the April 13th ride day, and asked passers-by if they would pick up any of them. A penny in the “yes” or “no” box recorded the vote. Here are the results, from left to right:
Bob in the red coat: 54 yes, 25 no.
College students Connie and Huan: 78 yes, 12 no.
Michael as the sketchy hitchhiker: 40 yes, 28 no.
Jason with coffee cup: 65 yes, 15 no.
As you can see, Lawrencians are pretty willing to give rides. Of course, this was a very informal poll, but the results are encouraging. I will think about conducting another, more scientific poll where there is a larger sampling of townsfolk, perhaps at the sidewalk sale in July.
Lastly, a note on squishing. The drivers of Lawrence are so eager to give rides to these folks with the green and white signs that sometimes they overestimate how many people they can carry. I myself have taken a couple of snug rides tucked next to boxes, bales and fellow passengers. Lots of people use their cars as auxiliary storage, so a the theoretical 4 empty seats might really just be one or two. Aaron and Rolf experienced this on the April 13th ride day. They were stationed out Hwy 40 near the turn off to Lecompton. After a while, a pickup truck came by with 2 fellows in it, and no back seat. With a little scooting and squishing, all four guys packed into the front of the truck and traveled the 81/2 miles back to downtown Lawrence. The takeaway from this experience? Drivers: keep a seat or two clear. Riders: shower!