Lawrence OnBoard has been a little quiet this month. That’s because I’ve been busy closing down my business of 18 years so I can devote all my time to this new amazing project. This is an enormous leap of faith, but so was the first time I stood by the roadside with my ride board, hoping somebody would pick me up, and we know how spectacularly that turned out!
A preacher-man staying at our house last month said that Jesus would probably include “drive the stranded” as a modern work of mercy right up there with “feed the hungry” and “heal the sick”. He is a pastor in a small town in Nebraska, so he understands that access to transportation is no longer a luxury, but is absolutely essential for full participation in modern life. We expect people who barely scrape by on minimum wage to spend thousands every year to own and maintain a car just so they can get to work. That is a heavy burden and ties up money that could be spent on a better quality of life. But if those same households had an option so they can go car free, or drive their cars less, that would free up a significant amount of household resources. Something else that my preacher friend remarked on is that anyone can participate in Roadside Ridesharing as riders or drivers or both. Giving a ride is an easy, cheap and safe opportunity to do real good for another human being. We don’t get those opportunities very often, which is a shame since helping others makes us better people.
This month I will head to Newton, KS for the Big Rural Brainstorm where I plan to network with big thinkers from around the state about transportation issues. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the latest issue of Greenability Magazine which features Yours Truly for the Greenability Challenge! Thanks to editor Julie Koppen who made it happen. Oh, and one more thing: We got a shout-out on the Freakonomics Radio blog!