Co-written by Rachel Caroline Derrah and Anna Duckworth.
NOVA SCOTIA – Consider this: you’ve got somewhere to be. But you’ve got no means to get there. You plan ahead and solicit a drive from someone else. It’s carpooling.
Now, let’s say you don’t have time on your side. You start walking and en route you solicit a drive from a passing car. This negotiation happens in public. It’s hitchhiking.
Let’s get this straight then, the law struggles with the context in which we negotiate shared transportation, but not the actual act of sharing a ride.
Welcome to Nova Scotia – a small province that boasts almost no means to move from one community to the next. Outside the fortunate few who own cars, Nova Scotians are bound to their backyards by the absence of alternative transportation and infrastructure.
There’s no train. There’s no efficient carpooling system. But there is a bus. Sadly it runs between only some communities and the infrequency of these trips is crippling.
How about the Lunenburg-Halifax commute. There’s significant traffic between the two communities along highway 103 each day. For commuters who are expected at work by nine AM, the bus renders you about four hours late.
So here’s an idea.
Last weekend, a hot ticket party popped up in Lunenburg County and we were hell bent on getting there. A quick look at the bus schedule and our suspicions were confirmed — the only trip South didn’t fit our schedule. We called our friends, but couldn’t lock down a ride.
With thumbs out and cardboard signs in tow, we hit the highway on foot. For transparency’s sake, we were two twenty-something blonde girls seeking a ride with YOU.
Lo and behold, two rides admitted to picking us up for this reason.
But the other two rides legitimized our efforts. The first was a woman reminicsing about her glory days. The other came from a couple who welcomed us aboard after we knocked on their window.
Hitch-hiking was easier than we thought, despite a slow start. Only the inner city drivers seemed wary, yelling “be careful” from the comfort of their cars. Of course, they weren’t interested in offering a ride.
Our adventure was inspired by a need for some good old-fashioned fun (and a burning desire to party). But we were also keen to highlight the many environmentally conscious and economically modest citizens who don’t want to own a car — the ones who count on the government to provide viable transit infrastructure.
It would be cool to invest in transit infrastructure or even a forum to negotiate shared car rides. But if not that, then let’s make this a community where common practice is knocking on a car window for a ride.
How ’bout all the friends we could make!