Ride Day Adventures: Episode 2. Two young ladies, Connie and Huan, teamed up together to try out Lawrence OnBoard. Their backup driver, the fabulous Tarang, took them out to Eudora at 10th and Fir streets. They wrote “Downtown” on one rideboard, and “Lawrence” on the other, stood together and smiled. Connie reported her experience as follows:
“We were there for about 5 minutes. I think it was the 6th car that passed by….and it was GREAT! They saw us, and turned into the street, but we didn’t think they’d pick us up, but they went around the block and they were, like, ‘You need a ride?'” They were really happy. It was a mom with a van, and she had 2 kids in the back and a baby behind the driver’s seat. I was pretty sure it was her mom in the passenger side in the front. And they were super nice and happy. They were telling us they would pick up people if they had the (Lawrence OnBoard) signs because they were legit signs. That was really cool.”
Connie’s story was echoed by the email which her driver sent to Lawrence OnBoard a few hours later. It was such a great email that I will print it here in it’s entirety:
“I just wanted to drop you a note that I was one of the drivers today. I (Female, age 39) was in my minivan with my mom (age 70) and my 3 kids. I saw the 2 young ladies who looked very friendly and I easily saw their sign at a corner in Eudora. The sign said downtown Lawrence so I asked my Mom if she cared if we turned around. So we did for the first time ever I picked up a hitchhiker. Since it was 2 ladies and broad daylight I wasn’t worried. I have to admit not sure if I would have stopped for a man. We had a pleasant chat with the girls (one from China the other from Peru). My children rattled on about random facts (to impress them I think even though my boys are age 11 and 10:-) I think this is a fascinating project and I love your enthusiasm for the research! Good Luck!”
So, as for Poor Jason… He went out to Eudora in the same car as Tarang, Connie and Huan. I had chosen a spot on the road out of Eudora that I thought would be perfect, but unfortunately, it was not as good as I had hoped. Jason waited patiently for 25 minutes while 41 cars passed him by. Good thing Tarang stayed in the vicinity. She drove past him and noticed that he was really hard to see. The sun was glaring off the whiteboard, making it impossible to read. The cars were going pretty fast, in tightly bunched clumps, which makes the drivers less likely to stop. Tarang rescued poor Jason and took him East to the location where Connie and Huan had waited. Sure enough, after 2 minutes, Jason had a ride with an elderly gentleman, who took him into town and dropped him at 19th and Harper. He walked to Haskell and got a lift with “a nice young lady in a big ol’ truck”.
The take-away from Jason’s experience is that, as in real estate, the key is LOCATION, location, location. A crowd-map will help us use our experience to pinpoint the good and not so good places to stand.