Car sharing is in the news again as various cities look to ease congestion by reducing the number of cars with only one person in them (four out of every five, according the the BBC report).
The BBC's article includes someone from the AA trotting out the most common objection to car-sharing, which is that it obliges people -- who often won't not know each other well -- to adjust their working patterns so they start and end work at the same time. With the sorts of jobs so many people do, this isn't possible. Therefore, people conclude, car sharing cannot work.
What a staggering lack of imagination! Why on earth don't people see that there are any number of solutions that just don't involve a car at all? It's pretty odd, when you think about it, that people spend so much time travelling alone in vehicles designed to carry five, and which fill up the road just as much to carry one person as their full complement. You wouldn't book five seats in a cinema if you were going there alone. So why don't people consider single-occupant vehicles, such as scooters and motorcycles, more often? Again, it has to be that the car is so amazingly dominant in our collective psyche that their use is totally habitual and alternatives, despite their being plentiful, much cheaper and logically more appropriate, simply never occur to people. So everybody carries on using completely, wildly, infuriatingly inappropriate vehicles to get around and our cities get less and less pleasant and accessible.
Or is it, to build on a conversation I had last night, something to do with labeling? Perhaps most people do not consider a motorcycle, for example, because they simply cannot conceive of the label 'motorcyclist' applying to them? Answers on a postcard, please.