In this country, where I called home. Traffic jams have become a new norm and the problem with the traffic is completely multi-faceted. One might attribute cause number one to the rise in middle-class consumers in my country, Indonesia. Yes, it indeed is, a natural economic phenomenon.
Everyday we realized, with people earning higher incomes than before, the demand for motorized vehicles naturally increases, it is cool for underlining the words higher incomes which is means we are moving from developing country to be a developed country. But, can you count how many vehicles moving in and out the city everyday? How much the fuel was spent caused stucked in traffic for hours everyday? And another problem, like air pollution.
We are facing too many problems, just because one case. The traffic jam. Should not the government intervene? Yes, they should. Unfortunately, we also might ask ourselves, what we can do to help our governments problem today.
As we already knew, we are cool enough to stamp ourselves as the changemakers, so lets start from the new (amazing) tools that can help as to fix this problem. Social Networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which have eroded the anonymity of online interaction, but may have the potential to bridge social cleavages. They could be the best mediums which youths can start their movement. Since more youths are into using social networking, their role on the new age of technology is to fight with social anomalies through latest technological advancements.
So, what we can do?
Main idea: Less vehicles, Less traffic jams. Lets moving together!
Please, believe me. Our country, Indonesia, has the third largest number of Twitter users in the world. Most of them are the young Indonesians who sending about 1.29 million tweets a day, according to Internet analysist SalingSilang.
We start the campaign from the hashtag-war, create a twitter account which provide information to allow commuters with vacant seats on or in their vehicles to offer rides to those people without cars or bikes who need to travel in the same direction. (#ridewithme, sounds cool?)
The aim: To help the city reduce its traffic jams by having groups of people travelling together; thereby reduce the number of vehicles on the roads, also giving people a chance to make new FRIENDS!
I give you an example:
@Alfa: Going to Banjarmasin tomorrow morning at 9.30, two seats in the car for free! #ridewithme and sharing breakfast, maybe :)?
@Bravo: Hello, a car-less is tweeting now. Please #ridewithme to go to Banjarmasin tomorrow morning! Im okay to share the fuel!
@Alfa: Hi @ Bravo, lets meet up around Gongs street before 9.30. Well drive together to Banjarmasin
The function of the twitters account is to re-tweet all of the hashtag #ridewithme, so people with vacant seats in their vehicles can offer free rides to people, while those looking for transportation to particular destinations can do the same.
Another problem: @Charlie: Hell, no! Im not moving to anywhere with strangers. DONT #ridewithme
Yes, we have to ensure the safety of the #ridewithme members. I believe that social media can help to encourage people to trust others, even if they have never met them before. By monitoring the number and composition of account followers and how information on a Twitter account is communicated, we can better understand which ones we can trust and which ones we can not.
Later, we can see the free ride transactions take place everyday in this virtual terminal. What are you waiting for? Lets moving together!
Written for: Blogging Competition: UN-Habitat CCCI
Author: Nindya Miesye Agita Pasaribu-Indonesia