easy reading - the rideshare blog

How Can You Celebrate World Wildlife Day? (3 SImple Ways to Get Involved)

Today, Thursday March 3, 2022 is World Wildlife Day! Over the years, this annual observance has become the most important global event dedicated to wildlife.  

With a new focus each year, 2022 will be celebrated under the theme ‘Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration.’  

Life on Earth 

Our planet’s different ecosystems are all connected through living organisms; flora, fauna, and beyond. It may feel like an endangered species across the world doesn’t impact us as individuals, but that misconception is a big part of the conversation that this year’s theme is trying to address. 

The biodiversity around the earth provides us with food, fuel, medicines, housing, clothing, and our everyday livelihoods. There are pieces of our lives that connect us to ecosystems and species that we may not think of. The loss of species, habitats, and ecosystems threatens all life on Earth, including us. 

The Danger of Extinction 

According to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, over 8,400 species are critically endangered. This means that this species in facing an extremely high risk of extinction. Along with these critically endangered species, close to 30,000 are vulnerable or endangered.   

On World Wildlife Day, we must help in the fight to reverse the date of the endangered species around the world. As a global community, saving plants and animals from the overexploitation of their habitats is the key to restoring balance and life in the ecosystems that make up our planet. 

How Can We Get Involved? 

Celebrating World Wildlife Day is simpler than you may think! We have three easy ways to join in this year’s global celebration. 

  1. Tune into the official World Wildlife Day livestream today at 2 PM CET here. You can register for the event here, but it isn’t required to attend.
  2. Raise awareness on social media using the hashtags #WWD2022, #RecoverKeySpecies, and #WorldWildlifeDay. Get the conversation started on your social pages!
  3. Get to know the species in your region that are threatened and support the cause using official sources like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the official World Wildlife Day organization.  

Happy World Wildlife Day! Thank you for taking the time to learn about this global movement to preserve life on Earth. 

by Isabelle Brown  | 


Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings Graham: The Rosa Parks of the 19th Century

Throughout American history, traveling while Black has been a focal point of racial justice. Today, this conversation continues through the idea of transit equity. We as a nation recognize Transit Equity Day on February 4th to commemorate the life and legacy of Rosa Parks on the day of her birthday.  

As a key figure in the Civil Rights era, she has been honored as the “first lady of civil rights” and the “mother of the freedom movement”. Today, we want to expand on the valiant legacy of Rosa Parks by telling a story of transit equity that came 100 years before her.  

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings Graham: The Schoolteacher on the Streetcar  

Over a century before institutionalized segregation was ended by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a young, 24-year-old schoolteacher named Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings paved the way for the desegregation of New York’s public transit. 

In July of 1854, on her way to the First Colored Congregational Church on Sixth Street and Second Avenue where she played the organ, Elizabeth Jennings waited for the horse drawn streetcar. Opting for a bus that did not have a “Colored Persons Allowed” sign, she received tense stares as she boarded. 

Refusing the conductor’s many attempts to verbally get her off the streetcar, Elizabeth Jennings did not move until the driver got the attention of a police officer. They then forcibly removed her, leaving her no choice but to take action. Elizabeth Jennings was a force to be reckoned with.  

Gaining National Attention 

A well-connected woman, Jennings’ father was a businessman, inventor, and respected community leader with ties to the Black churches throughout the city. He, Thomas L. Jennings, was actually the first Black man to receive a patent. 

Thomas L. Jennings took his daughter’s written account of the event and sent it to newspaper outlets to spread her story. It was published in the New York Daily as well as Frederick Douglass’ Paper. This led to national attention and a successful court case where Elizabeth Jennings was defended by lawyer and future 21st President Chester A. Arthur and awarded approximately $250 in damages (this is about $9,000 in today’s USD). 

The Fight for Desegregation 

While her court case victory led to the Third Avenue Railroad Company being ordered to desegregate its streetcars, this did not force the integration of all streetcar lines in the city. However, Jennings’ case was reported and talked about in a way that forced more New Yorkers to consider the issue of racial discrimination on public transportation. 

By 1860, every street and railcar in New York City was desegregated. 

More Stories of Fighting for Transit Equity  

Today, we honor Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings Graham and her bravery in a time before the Civil War, when this bold resistance to racism could have easily cost Jennings her life.  

We are proud to kick start Black History Month telling a piece of her story. There are so many stories of heroes like Elizabeth Jennings throughout history. We urge you to follow the links throughout the post to read more about the woman who has come to be known as the 19th century’s very own Rosa Parks.  

by Isabelle Brown  | 


Bringing Transportation Back Down to Earth

Looking back, it’s fascinating to consider where the world envisioned the transportation industry to be today. Flying cars may be on the table within the next decade, and complex underground tunnel systems are coming to fruition with the emergence of Elon Musk’s The Boring Company.   

In a wonderful blog article in Metro Magazine titled “Moonshot or Earthbound: Rethinking Shared Mobility for a Post-COVID Recovery”, the idea of all our nation’s vision for transportation is explored. In short, the transportation and mobility industry has pivoted.  

While a Jetson-like daily commute via pneumatic tube is a compelling idea, the approach to transportation is becoming much more centered on unlearning our dependence on single occupancy vehicles. 

A Historic Dependence on Cars 

The United States’ dependence on driving has been a long time in the making. In the 1930s, there was one registered vehicle for every two households in the US. By 2010, trips under a mile away were being driven over 70% of the time according to Bloomberg CityLab.  

Before other nations around the world, America began adapting to car culture through mass motorization and expansive interstate systems that could connect people to anywhere they could want to go in the United States.  

The seemingly amazing advancement of transportation and technology has crept into global issues of climate change. In 2019, the transportation sector was reported as the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency 

So, the question is: How do we clean up this mess that has accumulated over time? 

People Centered Transportation 

Today’s forward thinkers, environmentalists, urbanists, and industry professionals know that our future must center around our communities and human-centered activity. Building on the resources and transportation systems we currently have in place can begin to make for a more equitable society for the average American who doesn't have a Tesla in their budget.  

The idea of the 15 Minute City is a perfect jumping off point. Everyone who lives in a city should have access to their needs within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. How can government officials achieve this?  

For starters: Investing in projects that strengthen infrastructure surrounding public transportation and active commute modes like walking and biking.  

If we had cross-country high-speed railways, would anyone ever choose driving across the US again, or even flying for that matter? If every neighborhood had safe and affordable access to public transit, would anyone continue to worry themselves with paying for and maintaining a car? If people had safe infrastructure to ride their bike, streets would be full of cyclists every single day around the country without a doubt.  

 

Sharing our Streets 

No matter where you live, you should have the power to choose how you move around in the world. When streets are made for cars, it doesn’t leave people with much of a fair choice. The transportation industry is taking its head out of the clouds, and back into community-focused policies and funding. I’ll take an E-Bike over a flying car any day! 

by Isabelle Brown  | 


What Your Commute Says About You

At The Rideshare Company, we are big fans of every type of commute. Do you ever wonder what your commute reveals about you?

Carpool

If you carpool to work with a coworker or two, you’re reliable. Each member of a carpool is integral to its function. Look at you go!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/unrecognizable-ethnic-businesswoman-reading-newspaper-in-train-6000100/

Train

If you take the train for your daily commute, you understand the value of peace and quiet. Giving yourself time to check social media, read some news articles, or just close your eyes and enjoy the ride is admirable.

Bus

If you ride the bus, you are organized and punctual. You’re not going to be the one who misses a deadline or joins a Zoom meeting late.

Vanpool

If you are in a vanpool, you’ve been called the life of the party before. You’re social, spirited, and trustworthy.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-riding-bicycle-on-city-street-310983/

Bicycle

If you bike to work, you’re an early riser who loves to spend your weekends soaking in the world around you. You probably drink black cold brew, too.

Driving Alone

Finally… If you drive alone to work, you may be considered an ‘old soul’, or perhaps you’re just a bit behind the times. Check out our commute savings calculator to see what you could be saving if you used a form of ridesharing to get to and from work instead of a single-occupancy vehicle.

So, were our assumptions accurate? We’d love if you would tweet at us with the hashtag #MyCommuteStyle and let us know how you get to work and if our first impressions were right.  

by Isabelle Brown  | 


How to Finally Start Living Up to Our New Year’s Resolutions

In December, we shared our tips on how to create the perfect New Year’s Resolutions and stick to it. Making a goal that is realistic and tangible, preparing for it in advance, and tracking it are great tactics to making it happen.

We know that it’s easy to talk a big game in December before the real work begins. In January, you feel pressure to hold yourself accountable and stay true to the goals that you set. We want to share with you one final incredible way to make that resolution your reality this year.

Work as a Team

Having people on your side makes it possible to push yourself further than you thought you could. So, create a group resolution!

When discussing New Year’s resolutions, I found that the people around me had similar ideas for how to improve in 2022. Putting teamwork into action by helping one another stay determined and on track can be a great motivator.

How to Begin

To make any resolution into a group effort, make it broad enough that it can fit into each of your different lifestyles. Your resolution can be “Make more ecofriendly choices.”

Even if you don’t all have the same exact changes in mind, you are working together toward a shared end goal. One person could work on cooking more vegetarian meals. Another could get buckle down on single-use plastic. Best of all, your group can decide to form a carpool together and reduce your carbon footprint together!

Check in with Each Other

You can touch base on your goals by catching up in a group chat or planning a phone call each week. It could also be great to have a monthly reward as a team, like getting together at someone’s house for dinner or going out to a movie to celebrate working toward a shared goal.

It’s important to not place rewards solely on progress. Even if you aren’t seeing results, it doesn’t mean your work isn’t paying off. Also, remember that falling back on old habits or having a bad week does not mean you have to give up on your goals. Having a group resolution can be uplifting because you have friends cheering you on and reminding you that you’re in it together!

So, grab a couple friends or family members and make a plan together. New Year’s Resolutions can stick, and they can become staple parts of your everyday life!

by Isabelle Brown  |