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Hitch-hiking: how to approach this money-free, app-less, mode of transport?

Anciaes, PR; (2016) Hitch-hiking: how to approach this money-free, app-less, mode of transport? Presented at: 1st Radical Transport Conference, London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Transport planners and researchers never paid much attention to hitch-hiking, so why should they start now, in a world of cheap air and coach travel and all types of app-based ridesharing schemes? This presentation gives answers to this question, based on a critical assessment of the individual needs that hitch-hiking fulfil, the costs and risks for all parties, and the way the activity contributes (or could contribute) to the objectives of contemporary public policy of promoting inclusive and sustainable transport. The assessment is based on a review of academic and non-academic literature on hitch-hiking at different times and in different geographic contexts, and on reflections from my experience as a hitch-hiker. Past and present policy approaches to hitch-hiking are then analysed. Four levels of policy involvement can be identified: prohibit (in some types of roads in most countries), ignore (the most common approach), facilitate (as in the case of the "slug lines" in Washington DC and "hitchhiking stops" in several countries), and control (the case of "hitchhiking coupons" in the ex-USSR and the "El Amarillo" in Cuba). These initiatives are assessed in terms of their contribution to promote the potential benefits and reduce the costs and risks of hitch-hiking previously identified, and of the factors that have contributed to their success or failure. To conclude, I identify opportunities and challenges for further policy initiatives and for research on this topic.

Type: Conference item (Presentation)
Title: Hitch-hiking: how to approach this money-free, app-less, mode of transport?
Event: 1st Radical Transport Conference
Location: London, UK
Dates: 20 June 2016
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/transport-institute/events/r...
Language: English
Keywords: hitch-hiking, alternative transport, radical transport, mobilities, "slugging"
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1503120
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