DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: YOU MENTIONED A FEW WEEKS BACK THAT YOU WOULD FOLLOW UP ON USING SMARTPHONES TO GET TO WORK… WHAT GIVES? Rusty, Palo Alto
Dear Rusty: Glad that you keep me on my toes, and I elevated your earlier post (see below). Totally get that you want to use pooled rideshare, but it is impractical because you cannot estimate the arrival time. Uber and Lyft may have failed here, but your smartphone may come through after all!
Waze developed a carpool app that will be familiar to rideshare users…it lists the ETA, names, star-ratings, and other standard information. Waze is now doing a nationwide rollout of the app and subsidizing new riders. Whether you are the driver or the passenger, see if this smartphone app will get you moving.
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: THIS MORNING I MISSED MY TRAIN TO WORK BECAUSE I TOOK RIDESHARE, BUT I SELECTED THE POOL/LINE OPTION. SO,THE DRIVER HAD TO MAKE TWO ADDITIONAL STOPS BEFORE WE GOT TO THE CALTRAIN. I REALLY WANT TO USE SHARE TRIPS TO REDUCE MY CARBON FOOTPRINT AND TRAFFIC CONGESTION, BUT I AM CONFLICTED. Rusty, Palo Alto
Dear Rusty: There is no question that you are doing a good thing- taking rideshare and pooling too. But, you can’t be late for work either! And, it’s not Amtrak, like the image. Now that you know the schedule, you could try leaving earlier. Or, if you pool a few more times, see if you can find fellow riders going to the train and initiate your own “Express Pool.” I’ll try to reach out to people at Uber and Lyft and see if they have suggestions for you beyond leaving earlier. One bright note is that you are more likely to be able to Pool or Line on the return segment, from train station to home.
DEAR READERS: WE INTERRUPT OUR USUAL FORMAT TO BRING YOU THIS EMERGENCY MESSAGE!
Last week the Federal Government did an Emergency Test sending a push notification to the nation’s cell phones. The message was the butt of jokes, but at the core is a recognition of how our communication systems have changed.
If you can’t remember when the last major earthquake struck or a devastating hurricane made landfall keep in mind one thing. The majority of households have now disconnected their landline phone and depend exclusively on smartphones.
It’s time to prep your twenty-first century disaster kit.
Second, as you get prepare, think about storing an auxilary power source or two, like an extra smartphone battery and a solar charger. Redundancy can mean resilience during a disaster, so it’s a good idea to do this for each family member’s phone.