There are many things that can be done to try to fix the traffic problem in the area.
Mark Cleveland, a Franklin entrepreneur, has been growing a new take on an old solution: carpooling.
Last summer Cleveland founded Hytch, a free app hoping to “build carpooling into the mass transit solution of today” by connecting people with similar commutes to share rides.
“What Airbnb has done to create a house guest and monetize the unused room above your garage, I want to do for your car,” Cleveland said. “The effort has both micro and macro implications. Individual commuters benefit from the social interaction that comes with having another person in their car, which provides the chance to build new relationships and share the cost of a commute.”
At the same time, there is a huge opportunity for carpooling not being taken advantage of.
“We’re a car culture in Nashville and in the state of Tennessee, yet we’ve got the sixth-most HOV lane miles of anywhere in the country,” Cleveland said. “We have the infrastructure of a car-sharing culture, but we just have [the wrong] carrots and sticks, so we all pile onto the highway at the same time and act like we’ve got a problem when in fact we have an opportunity.”
Hytch takes that opportunity, and puts it to work to reduce the number of cars on the road, improve air quality, and reduce parking issues.
“The only way to address traffic congestion is to create car-centric incentives to take cars off the road,” Cleveland said.
The incentives, he said, are a way to create a “necessary evolution” of driving behavior.
Hytch’s mission is to take cars off the road by building a virtual mass transit network using free technology that everyone can use to easily get neighbors into the empty seats of existing cars on the road. By using Hytch tracking systems for safety, reliability and payment processing, you share the COST of a ride. Enjoy new friendships and easily build up your “posse” of cool people to rely upon for future ride sharing. Drivers and riders use Hytch.me to measure and track shared rides to earn incentives paid by company sponsors who support carpooling. Learn more at hytch.me.