Search the Site

Should There Be a Hitchhiking Renaissance?

Want to save the planet? Maybe you should consider hitchhiking. (Photo: via Flickr)

One of the greatest transportation resources out there is… your backseat. According to a U.S. Department of Transportation report, the average vehicle commuting to and from work has only 1.1 people it. This means that about 80 percent of car capacity goes unused. In a moment when we’re worrying about gas consumption and carbon emissions, this is a lamentable inefficiency.
This week on Marketplace, Stephen J. Dubner suggests an old-time solution to this present-day problem: hitchhiking. Hear Freakonomics co-author and University of Chicago economist Steve Levitt explain how our fears chilled the hitchhiking market; transportation scholar Alan Pisarski talk about how thumbing for a ride became unnecessary; and if Dubner can talk host Kai Ryssdal into picking up a few strangers on his daily commute.
Here’s where you can find Marketplace on the radio near you.