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Ride Share Group Hopes to Make Hitchhiking Safe

Lawrence on board(Photo from Lawrenceonboard.org)A ride-sharing organization in Lawrence will be asking the city commission tonight (TUE) to amend a city ordinance. The group wants the commissioners to amend a rule that says people can’t stand by the road requesting a ride. Lawrence OnBoard has a pilot program where community members are screened and then can request and provide rides. The person requesting the ride stands by the side of the road and holds up a specially made sign showing their destination. Jenny O’Brien is with Lawrence OnBoard.

Drivers involved in the program also have a special sticker for their vehicle to show they’re members of Lawrence OnBoard. O’Brien says they’re asking the city to amend the ordinance so they can continue to grow the program, which she believes is the first of its kind in the nation. They’re still in the pilot phase, but O’Brien says anyone who is interested can get more information by attending the meeting tonight (TUE) or visiting lawrenceonboard.org (Lawrence On Board dot org).

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(VERSION TWO)

A ride-sharing organization will be asking the Lawrence City Commission tonight (TUE) to amend an ordinance about asking drivers for a ride. The group, Lawrence OnBoard, is in a pilot program where community members join, go through a screening process and then request and provide car rides. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on the program, which members believe is the first of its type in the nation.

(SCRIPT)

The people asking for rides stand by the side of the road with a specially made whiteboard sign with distinctive green trim. The sign shows where they want to go so drivers can pick them up. Drivers in the program also have a special sticker for their car, identifying that they’re official members of Lawrence OnBoard. The problem is that city rules bar asking for a ride by the side of the road. Jenny O’Brien, with Lawrence OnBoard, says they’re asking to amend the ban so they can grow the program. And she says they have some suggestions to increase safety.

“For example, you can only stand in places where a car can easily pull out of the stream of traffic. Also, no soliciting rides after dark, no minors, no people under the influence of alcohol or drugs. All those sort of safety features can get built into it,” says O'Brien.

O’Brien says they’ve been working with city officials to craft the proposed solution. 

Anchor lead out:

The program is still in the pilot phase, but O’Brien says anyone who is interested can get more information by attending the city commission meeting tonight (TUE) or visiting lawrenceonboard.org (Lawrence On Board dot org).

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