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Mark Gorton, founder of the Open Planning Project says city congestion can be solved relatively easily with web-enabled phones. His Internet-based transit networking system groups riders together based on starting locations and destinations. It’s an idea Gorton calls “Smart Para-Transit”.

“Currently you have lots of people making very similar trips in private automobiles. Now, thanks to the advent of cell phone technology, computer technology, and other information technology, it’s possible to build a system that dynamically gathers information about where people want to go, and routes a fleet of vehicles to make those same trips much more efficiently,” Gorton says.

“The larger the system, the better it’s going to work.”

This illustration shows how Gorton’s Smart Para-Transit could condense 12 trips into two by grouping people going from similar starting points to similar destinations.

Gorton has written a detailed report on Smart Para-Transit, which is available at Streetsblog, one of the websites produced by the Open Planning Project.

The Livable Streets Network re-envisions our cities, reversing decades of automobile-dominated planning and policy to create healthier, more sustainable urban environments.

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